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The Eye Never Sleeps 2022





10th edition

10th-13th of August, 2023

The tenth, jubilee edition of the festival organized by the Black Dwarf Foundation, various
locations in Bydgoszcz

The EYE NEVER SLEEPS festival in Bydgoszcz is ten years old.

The event, organized by the Black Dwarf Foundation, which has been active since 2008, is one of the most original initiatives located far from the central national cultural centers. The originality of OKO, as it’s called, is the combination of various artistic disciplines in one event, the scenery of which is often non-obvious architectural and outdoor locations.

This year’s edition is held under the slogan “trans”, which was proposed by the critic, curator and promotor of artistic life, Anda Rottenberg, in relation to the idea of the festival. In this way, she referred to the roots of the event, which stems from the tradition of transgressive performative practices. That is, those that (often physically) violate defined moral, identity or material boundaries. At the same time, they often blur the divisions that exist between artistic disciplines, science, cultural practice, or – for market reasons – institutional circulations of their distribution. In practice, for consumers, this means blurring the boundaries between what is known and unknown, real and supernatural, assimilated and wild, human and non-human, living and dead, public and private, awake and dreaming.

“Trans” as the theme of the festival will be interpreted widely. The artists will be interested in it both as an altered state of consciousness and an ecstatic initiation technique typical of shamanic and animistic cultures, and as a secular social practice, e.g. executed in recent decades by night clubbing culture. It defies neoliberal indywidualism, material inequality as well as alienating and disciplining legal and biopolitical regulations.

This year, the tenth OKO, will host artists invited by, among others, Robert Kuśmirowski, an award-winning visual artist, performer, author of installations and photographs, a “forger of reality”, whose trademark has become illusory reconstructions of fictitious or alternative spaces, such as Double V, Bunker, Kanal or Graduation Tower. This time, the artist plays the role of a selector, inviting selected people to participate in one of several sections of the exhibition, located in EXPLOSEUM in Bydgoszcz. The exhibition – titled by the curator EXP(L)O – will refer to the history of the facility, an arms factory from the times of World War II. The works, prepared especially for the space, will test the possibility of emotional regeneration of the complex and working through its traumatic past.

Morover, traditionally, one of the exhibitions will be organised in cooperation with the City Gallery BWA in Bydgoszcz. During the jubilee edition, at the invitation of Robert Kuśmirowski, his individual exhibition entitled WE THE WATER / MY WODA – devoted to the border between living bodies and the water environment that determines their existence, will be presented here by Wojtek Radtke.

This year’s edition of OKO also recalls the figure of Marcin Giżycki, who died at the end of 2022, a director of animated and documentary films, art and film critic and historian, lecturer at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence (USA), Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology in Warsaw and originator and long-term artistic director of the International Festival of Animated Films ANIMATOR in Poznań. As a tribute to the artist’s achievements, the Black Dwarf Foundation will present a film adaptation of one of the director’s last unfinished films: The Unfinished Life of Phoebe Hicks.

OKO, as always, also includes shows, lectures, meetings, discussions, performances and music events.

Ich tegoroczny program już niebawem ogłoszony zostanie na stronie festiwalu:


E X P [ L ] O
Exploseum – District Museum of Leon Wyczółkowski

curator: Robert Kuśmirowski
participants: Monika and Tomasz Bielak, Piotr Bujak, Marta Fic, Artur Grejner, Grzegorz Klaman, Cezary Klimaszewski, Tomasz Krzpiet, Jarosław Lustych, Agnieszka Łukaszewska, Dominika Macocha, Honorata Martin, Patryk Paliwoda, Urszula Pieregończuk, Wojtek Radtke, Radosław Skóra, Andrzej Sobiepan, Agnieszka Szultk, Anna Waszczuk, Marta Zgierska

WE THE WATER / MY WODA – an exhibition by Wojtek Radtke
Municipal Gallery bwa
curator: Robert Kuśmirowski

A story about water and what it brings, its ability to react and express itself. Emotions in the post-covid era will also be important as they cause water aerosols.


Corpuscle – exhibition and performance

artists: Alicja Pilarczyk (PL/CH): violinist and performer, Katherine Newton (GB/CH): sound artist, visual artist, stage designer, and Justyna Celeda (PL): theater director, screenwriter.
A plane crash in the Alps in June 1968 took the lives of three men and hid the wreckage of the plane under the snow for decades. In August 2022, the missing machine was found and its broken parts, memory particles, have now been recovered. In 1942, the couple went on a trip to the mountains. They never came back. They were found only after 75 years. Emptiness, memories and coping with the feeling of abandonment are the axis around which the performance and exhibition were created.

Mystical Siberia – Arun Milcarz’s travel standup
The story of the life of the Buryat shaman Bair Rinchinov. The performance is a combination of film and stand-up. It shows a world in which shamanic rituals are intertwined with everyday rituals.

Special events / lectures / meetings:
Registration will be required for some events. Please follow our pages.

A meeting with Anda Rottenberg about the new book Rozrzut, Wydawnictwo Krytyki Politycznej
Rozrzut is a book not only for art lovers, but perhaps above all for “non-lovers”. It opens the door to understanding fundamental issues: why do we need art and what’s the use of artists.
prof. Małgorzata Omilanowska, fragment of the introduction

The Unfinished Life of Phoebe Hicks
Premiere screening of the unfinished film directed by Marcin Giżycki and Grzegorz Pleszyński, produced by Black Dwarf Foundation
Phoebe is the last joint project of director Marcin Giżycki and the Black Dwarf group. Marcin Giżycki’s idea was initially realized in the form of a surreal opera. The libretto was based on Agnieszka Taborska’s book of the same title. Work on the film was interrupted by the sudden death of Marcin Giżycki. The last scenes and editing were made on the basis of notes and collected comments.

A meeting with Agnieszka Taborska and her books Roland Topor’s Archipelagos, publ. Lokator, 2021 and The world has gone crazy. Surrealist Guide. How to survive, publ. Bosh, 2021
The first one is a personal portrait of Topor, enriched with hitherto unpublished anecdotes. The author’s friendship with the subject of her research allowed her to write about Topor differently than is usually written. The second book is a history (also social) of surrealism and a guide consisting of 56 tips on how to love surrealistically, live, not commit suicide…

Trances of spiritualists and surrealists – lecture
Agnieszka Taborska will talk about the spiritualism of the 19th century, frauds and media trances, collective hysteria trying to get to the Other Side. And also about the “dreaming period” of the Parisian surrealists, falling into a trance in Breton’s apartment in the 1920s. The story will be accompanied by mysterious photos.

The full program of OKO can be found at:

Contact for media:
Marta Filipiak / / +48 509 693 840