LEONARDO AGAINST POLLOCK
26 march, 2007 General Public, Berlin
Did Leonardo da Vinci have an affinity towards abstraction? With the aid of the special spiritualist technique of automatic drawing, Leonardo da Vinci recently demonstrated great proficiency in Abstract Painting. He can easily hold his own with the masters of abstract expressionism, for example the inventor of Action Painting, Jackson Pollock, who also appeared and produced drawings at the séance.
Berlin art-space »General Publics« was at our disposal all night long. It was decided to summon several masters of classical art. The day before the séance I reported on the previous performances, which created great interest of many people to participate in the séance.
Before starting the performance, I displayed on the walls a set of portraits of great artists from a school textbook I had bought in Moscow. I had suggested that the audience choose which artist to summon. Offers came pouring in. An unruly crowd formed around the table, with everyone stretching their hands to the saucer in the middle of the table. New people kept approaching to join the séance, ask questions, then leave. Leonardo da Vinci treated modern art respectfully, sketching a few abstract drawing which we immediately featured on the gallery wall.
About midnight, when only the most curious visitors remained, we began a workshop with Jackson Pollock, who consented without hesitation. It was very fortunate decision. Pollock, the creator of »action painting«, used the technique of »automatism«, similar to »écriture automatique« the Surrealists practiced during their own séances. The atmosphere was completely different from the previous performances. We were on our way to making »big art«. At one point our hands began to move with the saucer tracing the sideways figure eight symbolizing infinity. We were shocked. The figure eight persisted until our hands grew tired, and only stopped after we asked Pollock to stop it.
As soon as the drawing was completed, we put it on the wall. Thus was the exhibition formed: on one wall hung light, spiderweb- like drawings of Leonardo; on another wall appeared the forceful drawings of Jackson Pollock. Later this exhibition came to be called »Leonardo against Pollock«.