Stanisław Dróżdż

Stanisław Dróżdż
Stanisław Dróżdż (1939-2009) was the renowned creator of Polish Concrete Poetry. In 1968 he debuted in the no longer existant gallery "Pod Mona Lisą” in Wrocław, and from 1971 on he worked continuously with Foksal Gallery in Warsaw. In 1979 he published the book Concrete Poetry. Selected Polish texts and documentation from the years 1967 – 77. He was in constant contact with key protagonists of Concrete Poetry from around the world, including Ian Hamilton Finlay, Eugen Gomringer and Vaclav Havel. The basis of Stanisław Dróżdż’s works are always short texts or words. These evolve into images and are put into a new context by destroying their semantic meanings through a specific connection or arrangement on a flat layer or in space. In 1967, still unaware of the existence of Concrete Poetry, Dróżdż started writing a type of poetry, for which he came up with the name Concept Shapes and whose form reflected its content. Dróżdż thought of himself as a poet, although he wanted to materialise words in such a way that the practice of viewing itself became a process of actually understanding words. Even then Dróżdż was interested in the connection between words and space. In his most famous work Untitled (in-between) installed at Foksal Gallery, in 1977, the word is written into the space of the gallery. In the numerical and language works of Stanisław Dróżdż, the artist tests the principles according to which both of these systems function (language or mathematics) and tries to list all possible combinations. Language to him a system of sets where he runs through all possible operations. This is exemplified in his work Algebra of Prepositions which is a geometric illustration of possible combinations of prepositions. The work Permutations, which is similar in style, is a record of all the letter combinations in the word PERMUTATION. His search for "combinatoric rules” led him to the work Alea Iacta Est, which was exhibited in the Polish pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2003, and in which the walls of the pavilion were covered with all 46,656 possible combinations of 6 playing dice.