Strange Museums: A Journey through Poland
UWAP, $24.95 pb, 238 pp
Strange Museums is a strange book, a kind of fugue whose first theme is introduced by the poem ‘Tortures’ by Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska. It is a lament of evasion, uncertainty, the reservoir of pain that is the body and the inability to escape. It is enlarged da capo with the author’s discovery of a plaque commemorating the day in 1942 when Jews were rounded up and shot in the town of Piatrk w Trybunalski.
It is the tale of a most unusual journey made through Poland by performance artist and writer Fiona McGregor from May to July 2006. With A A Wojak, her performance partner and former lover, the journey is focused around an international action art festival where the two women, as senVoodoo, perform their confronting work, Arterial. It involves fear and shock, with the pain and risk endured by the artists calculated to take them to the edge. Even in description, Arterial draws a gasp.