Alea iacta est, Elżbieta Łubowicz

Let us look closely at the newest project by Stanisław Dróżdż which is entirely based on the concept of the game. The installation presenting the game of dice was developed by this author to represent Polish art at the Art Biennale in Venice in 2003. All the walls of the rectangular hall are covered by the dice adjacent to each other. The principles of this composition are imposed by the probability calculus. There are 279,936 dices forming 46,656 combinations. In the middle of the hall there is a table with the cup and the dice. Each of the viewers-participants can cast once these six dice and then find the same combination at the wall. If we interpret the game by Dróżdż according to the intentions ascribed to this concept by Derrida, the viewer-participant would be a completely unnecessary and foreign element originating from the outside reality. However, in the project by Dróżdż this viewer-participant is the main character whose actions initiate the course of meanings and a great metaphor of metonymic character which are actually the true content of this entire installation. The game participant is on the one hand overwhelmed by the game structure and becomes a part of its intrinsic reality. On the other hand, however, by annexing the elements of the real world such as the walls of the specific room and actions performed by really-existing people the game itself by the rule of metonymy becomes the part of an outside reality constituting another object within the borders of this reality.

        The game by Stanisław Dróżdż entitled ‘Alea iacta est’ takes place not only inside its own system but also in the final instance between the sign inscribed in the system and its outside reality for which this entire system comprises only a fragment. The game is played between the language and the object, between the word and the item. In this game, each of us is the viewer-participant given with only one possibility to cast the dice and this possibility symbolizes the life of every human which is given only one to each of us. Where should we look for the sense then? The response to this question given by the Venetian project is that we just ‘should look for it’.

        This answer is of greater importance than all the considerations about modernism, post-modernism and their interrelation. ‘Modernism’ and ‘post-modernism’ are only two dice adjacent to each other among this inconceivable multitude of possibilities which could be realized.

The fragment of the essay Stanisław Dróżdż: Love to the Word, Love to the Things, ‘Parergon’, no. 1, 2003