This exhibition of the work of Julian Antoniszczak (Antonisz), prepared by the National Museum in Kracow and the Zachęta National Gallery of Art, was the first comprehensive presentation of its kind, covering all areas of the work of Julian Joseph Antoniszczak (Antonisz) — co-founder of the legendary Studio of Animated Films in Cracow, experimental animator, designer, musician and inventor.
In addition to presenting a rich heritage of film, the show was focuse on exhibiting the no-less-fascinating workshop of the artist. The starting point is an archive containing the diaries and ‘ideactionaries’ (collections of notes, ‘golden thoughts’, newspaper clippings and designs accumulated and sorted out over several decades).
An important part of the exhibition comprised mechanical devices designed by Antonisz according to his original ideas for cameraless experiments made directly onto film. Unusual machines — pantographs, sound gadgets, animographs, sonographs — enclosed in suitcase-like boxes gave the artist the opportunity for individual creative work independent of institutions and bureaucracies.
Unusual tools and everyday objects designed by Antonisz, as well as certain elements of a unique ‘interior design’, also ‘handmade’ by the artist, create a special workshop-laboratory atmosphere for this exhibit, an ambience in which — as Antonisz put it — technology became an art form in itself.
The exhibition was accompanied by the first publication to summarise all aspects of Julian Antonisz’s work.
Julian Józef Antoniszczak (Antonisz) — born 8 November 1941 in Nowy Sącz, died 31 January 1987 in Lubień. Animator, composer and inventor. Graduate of the Faculty of Painting and Graphic Design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow, where he studied at the Drawing Film Studio under the direction of Kazimierz Urbański. A co-founder of the Cracow branch of the Miniature Film Studio in Warsaw (known since 1974 as the Animated Film Studio), he made his debut with the 1967 animated film, ‘Phobia’. Over the years, he worked on perfecting the art of cameraless filmmaking (including the first completely cameraless film: The sun. A film without a camera, 1977). Starting in 1981, he created the Polish Cameraless Chronicles, modelled on the Polish Film Chronicles: an animated series of reports wittily commenting on the realities of communist Poland, which won many awards at the International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen, the International Filmfestival in Mannheim and at the National Short Film Festival in Cracow.
The notes, sketches and designs accumulated by Julian Antonisz over the years in his ‘ideactionaries’ paint the picture of a man who in every area of life, even the most banal, found inspiration to create. The programme of events accompanying the exhibition gives us a look at his life and work from many points of view. Through meetings with the artist’s family, lectures and workshops, we can really get to know Julian Antonisz, experimental animator, designer, musician and inventor. We invite you to a workshop on animation techniques for families and children, a design workshop for adults during which a City Projector (a huge projection machine) will be created, and a unique stroll through Cracow following in Antonisz’s footsteps. Lectures will introduce the history of the Animation Film Studio in Krakow, trends in modern animation and ‘romantic machines’ - the relationship between the machine, technology and art. Programme guests include: Jerzy Armata, Jakub Woynarowski, Dr Maria Anna Olszewska, Kolektyw Palce Lizać (Finger-licking Collective), Hurra Studio and the artist’s family: daughters Malvina and Sabina Antoniszczak and brother (also a well-known animator) Ryszard Antoniszczak.
Coordinator of the accompanying programme: Maria Masternak.
Curator: Joanna Kordjak (Zachęta)
Coordinator: Maria Grzywacz (National Museum in Cracow)
Graphic design: Jakub de Barbaro, Jakub Sowiński
Exhibition arranged by: Paulina Tyro-Niezgoda
Collaborators and special consultants: Malwina Antoniszczak, Sabina Antoniszczak