workshop group                                                                                                      © 1970 - 1976   

There exists in art 
a poetically envolved trend 
(expressionist in one of its various aspects) 
which aims at the artist's emotional expression, 
at revealing his/her 'anxieties', resorting to uncontrollable, so consequently 'authentic', impulses 
as a means of this expression 
(hence the favourite criterium of 'truth'), 
strenghtening its bonds with the tradition through addressing 'universal' ('fundamental') issues.
 It displays various facets: 
verges on mysticism 
(Beksiński, Kantor, Hasior, Dróżdż), 
engages in politics 
(Wajda, Konwicki, students' theatre, 
poetic group 'Teraz'), moralizes (Szajna, Grochowiak, Bryl, Królikiewicz), 
plays a didactic role 
(Zanussi, Załuski), 
follows aestheticism 
(Hanuszkiewicz, Penderecki, Cieślewicz), 
(Ptaszyn-Wróblewski, K.T. Toeplitz) 
or is radically fatalistic 
(Żebrowski, A. Szapocznikow).
The above-mentioned trend, 
commonly understood and enthusiastically embraced, 
on the one hand appeals to the public's 'sensitivity', 
and on the other, to their 'sense of human self'. 
It expresses what the average viewer knows 
or suspects but cannot express.
Satisfying the audience 
or occasionally coquetting them is nothing 
but an inseparable ritual. 
In its very principle, therefore, 
the trend is populist in nature. 
Considering its popularity, 
the value of this trend seems to be indisputable. Confronted with such a perspective, 
we decided to undertake para-scientific activity, 
cold and calculated artistic theory-practice, 
the activity which in the eyes 
of the poetically-intuitive criticism 
(Osęka, Skrodzki, Jackiewicz, Fuksiewicz) 
is nothing but a primitive amusement 
of a flamboyant few, unworthy of 'critical thought'. 
We ignore the 'judgemental verdicts' 
as well as 'explanatory statements' 
those critics offer. 
The general revaluation in the art 
of the latter half of our century renders,
in our opinion, 
both this art and the entire trend out-dated, 
existing solely as a mere reminder of the past.
First of all:
1. Entering the territory of mechanical means 
of recording and transmission, 
we strongly object to all the attepmts 
at annexing part of this territory
to the realm of verbalism. 
To be more specific, we reject literary cinema.

2. We also reject all other utility functions 
which negate the very essence of cinema, 
that is:
engagement in politics,
and entertaining the public.

3. We reject anything that hampers breaking 
with the tradition which makes it impossible 
to construct a picture of reality 
different from that imposed on us 
by our school and upbringing. 
we also reject the film language, 
limited by rigid codification 
as well as specific utility functions. 
We, by contrast, pay special attention 
to the technical equipment as a pure channel, 
unaffected by outside influences.
Our activity aims in its essence at abandoning 
whatever our education and what is called 
'the current culture' have imposed on us.

4. Perceiving the reality 
as having been relayed to us, 
we resolve to examine it through analysis 
of the way means of communication function. 
We consider such an approach 
(reducing the situations under examination 
to their elementary states or meanings to banalities) 
to be our first and foremost goal.
There is no insight into new spheres 
of the reality 
without the right apparatus 
which may enable such an insight. 
Thus, having no ambitions to create 
the picture of the world 
(in other words actually finishing the work) 
we are trying to establish what can be created 
with the use of such a phenomenon as film technique 
and what is the actual range as well as the limits 
of non-verbal interpretation. 
We want to give the subjective 
yet another chance 
in its game with the objective.

Workshop, 1975
























We set up the 'Workshop' group 
in the Łódź Film School, in 1970.

from left:
Janusz Połom, Wojciech Bruszewski,
 Wacław Antczak, Jacek Łomnicki, 
Tadeusz Junak, Antoni Mikołajczyk,
Lech Czołnowski, Zdzisław Sowiński (rys.),
Józef Robakowski, Paweł Kwiek, 
Kazimierz Bendkowski, Andrzej Różycki, 
Ryszard Waśko,Zbigniew Rybczyński.

Among numerous activists and supporters, 
the following four people became the group's actual pillars::
Wojciech Bruszewski, Paweł Kwiek, 
Józef Robakowski, Ryszard Waśko.

This manifesto here was written by me.
The group performed on the alternative artistic scene both in Poland as well as in many European countries, and took part in such important events as:
Atelier 72 in Edinburgh,
Documenta 6 in Kassel,
Film Als Film in Cologne, Essen, Stuttgart, Berlin, Film As Film in London.
Independent publications were a crucial aspect of the group's activity. We were the precursors of independent publishing in Poland. The first issue of 'Workshop' was released in 1974, 
whereas the last one, '7', in 1975.

I left the group in 1976.

in the train to Edinburgh 1972

with Sean Connery in Edinburgh 1972

Złote Grono, Zielona Góra 1973

in  Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź 1973

in De Appel Gallery, Amsterdam 1975

exhibition in BWA, Łódź 1975

Janusz Połom, Paweł Kwiek, Wojciech B.,
Andrzej Różycki, Lech Czołnowski, 
Józef Robakowski
retrospective exhibitions of
the Workshop Group in CSW, 
Warszawa 2000

You will find a brilliant account of those times in Józef Robakowski's 'Żywa Galeria' 
('Living Gallery') published by 
Łódzki Dom Kultury- Galeria FF..