Ars Cameralis Silesiae Superioris

What is the Messenger Girl Doing

„While the boys are building a barricade, the messenger girl makes notes.” fragment of the book

What is the Messenger Girl Doing is a joint project of Zbigniew Libera and Darek Foks, a book consisting of 63 texts and accompanied with photographs. This work is a very specific case: the publication is a reprint of another book (who cares today, if it really existed!). Beautiful actresses — movie stars of the classical cinema pose among the ruins of an anonymous city, crushed by modes of the ⅩⅩ century’s history. Martyrological connotations of this collection of words and images impose themselves with equal strength as they exude erotic and nostalgic aura.

/ Sebastian Cichocki

Darek Foks together with Zbigniew Libera don’t preserve anything. What interests them, changes constantly. Now and any time. What we see is lined with what and how we speak. But we can as well reverse this sentence: what we say is lined with what and how we perceive. This incestuous tandem of image and word is modified. Examples? Here you go: a photograph and a signature, a logo and a brand, an image and a schlagwort, a portrait and a name, a tag and a pseudonym, a screen and a font. Memory which accumulates images and words is an old wholesale in the suburbs, we don’t own it anymore. Visions we receive are ready-made. Words we use to describe our home and our street, have been prepared long time ago. Franz Maurer will play Joyce, and Wehrmacht soldiers will dress up as cyclists. War pathways lead to home. That's why Foks’ prose had to meet with Libera’s photographs.  

Jerzy Jarniewicz

About the authors:

Darek Foks — born in 1966. A poet, prosaist, screenwriter. Graduated from National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw (Theatre Studies Department) and The Film School in Lódź (Film and TV Direction Department — screenwriting). He is an author of poetry books „Wiersze o fryzjerach” (1994), „Misterny tren” (1997), „Sonet drogi” (2000), „Przecena map. Wiersze z lat 1987—1997” (2005) and „Ustalenia z Maastricht” (2006).  His prose includes: „Orcio” (1998), „Pizza weselna” (2000) and „Mer Betlejem” (2003). He won first prize in bruLion's literary contest (1993) and was honoured Natalia Gall's Literary Awards (1999). He was nominated twice for Polityka's Passports. His poems and stories were translated into over a dozen languages. 

Zbigniew Libera — born in 1959. An author of objects, installations, videos, photographs, multimedia activities. He began his artistic activity in 1980's by designing leaflets and posters against the events in "Wujek" coal mine. He also printed leaflets for Solidarity (Polish trade union). In spring of 1982, he had his first individual exhibition in Łódź, in autumn he was arrested by Security Service (Służba Bezpieczeństwa) and imprisoned for year and half. Between 1983—1986  he was participating in activities of Kultura Zrzuty in Łódź. In the 90's, his earlier work was found precursory to so called critical art and he was hailed "the father of the critical art". His works were exhibited in galleries, he also started creating sculptures and objects. Also in the 90's, Libera created a cycle of fictitious toys, "prosthesis of adulthood in the world of children" and instruments of socialization, that in reality are just tools for taming, teaching to behave in a particular way, an finally — to act according to the gender. In past years, Libera dedicated himself to analyze new media and problem of an image in the mass culture.

Details of the publication:

Design of cover and front page: Justyna Kucharczyk

Copyright: Darek Foks & Zbigniew Libera

Publisher: Cultural Institution Ars Cameralis Silesiae Superioris

Year and place of publishing: Katowice 2005

Trilingual edition: Polish, German and French 


The publication was realized during ⅩⅣ Festiwalu Ars Cameralis.

Recommended publications

  • To the End / Mik.Book.!

    On 100 pages full of illustrations, it shows visually, without redundant words, what have been done, what have became classic, what have been forgotten.


  • In the Realm of the Senseless

    „For the Chapman brothers, less means more. (…) In their aesthetics of the intolerable, it is less the perversity of their non-conformism, than its totality, that gives most offence.” Rod Mengham


  • I love benches

    A catalogue for the exhibition „Marian & Oslislo, SOKKA 50°25´84˝N/19°02´64”


I order

What is the Messenger Girl Doing

  • Author: Zbigniew Libera, Darek Foks
  • Page number : 129
  • Sizes: 21x16cm
  • Category: Art book
  • ISBN: 83–922555–0-X
  • Price: 40 PLN

Wysyłając zamówienie akceptujesz regulamin sklepu Ars Cameralis.

Z regulaminem sklepu zapoznać się można pod adresem: