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Opening Hours

Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm


Art Agenda Nova
Batorego 2, Krakow


Norman Leto


[…] No, actually we always play from RAZU, we never know what it will be, Norman records a rehearsal on the camera, we cut out ready songs and we never improve anything, we let them sound like they were played in the room. They are melodious and not at all raw. Later we play them at shows or add them to films that they can not fit. Norman: I am not correcting the images, and I have stopped worrying about anything in this matter. Why should I improve anything? Why do you improve anything, why you do not let go of the steering wheel, since physics does not apply here. We all know about WOL-SAINT. Music, painting, film and so on are the only areas of life where you do not have to worry about anything. And yet, no: I see, I really see that we are rather worried or take over: fashionable-fashioned, art, picture-sm-ograz-shit, “I AM CONCEPTUALIST”, “I AM A LITTER”, religion, queer, gender, pedal, lesbian, George Bush, provocation, Duchamp, commitment, fashionable, unfashionable, happening, it was already, no, it was not, SEE WHAT I AM NON-TALENTED OR SEE WHAT I’M TALENTED, community, scandal non-scandal, I will be a painter, I will be a conceptualist, I am a musician Those graphomers and non-graphographers, the power of art, antiglobalians, pedal, pop, pop, pedal, cross … You do not have moments when you feel, not that it’s NOT THAT, that’s – sorry for a word – THIS IS A TROUBLE absolutely, NO IT and this way is not it? That things can operate on COMPLETE other levels? It really takes effort to get rid of this swamp, learning to be non-specific is strictly science. Jesus, I really feel that way. Konkret kills everything in this field, and now there is fun in the concrete and categorization. I am not able to define it precisely, but more or less: I slowly stop taking care of anything, especially the future, especially myself and this is the most pleasant feeling. I see that the same happens with the films, images and music that we do. You are not responsible for anything, you have the opportunity to quietly study human matters related to error, incompetence and inconsistency. You do not need anything, it’s a field where you can develop the rules yourself, and all this angular joke with art problem you should put in your ass and turn your eyeballs inside, I assure you that if you have any core personality, you’ll find a more interesting landscape in the middle of it about you. Confused viewer, with glasses in rectangular frames, you also stop worrying about us.

I apologize for being outraged, I do not say much at all. It’s irritating, you can talk a lot about radical things in a radical way. (Be soft and distracted, delegate fucking, if you have an edgy landscape and running around him disturbingly two-dimensional, too human monkeys.)

More or less, I like all of you, greetings
Norman Leto

Karolina Żaba


Low definition

Do you feel like an experiment? “Norman Leto is not expected to seriously answer the question of whether it is in the mainstream. Because he does not aspire to this. If you ask what is funny about art, he will mention: pop, gender, queer, provocations, social art, political commitment, religions, Duchamp, fashionable-unfashionable, happening, it was already – there were no, anti-globalists … and finally, with emphasis he will add: bathtub. Classifying phenomena appearing in the field of art, giving them labels, radical opinions is certainly not what interests him. As he says, “concrete kills everything in this field, and now it’s fun to concretize and categorize.” We live in an instant: there is no time for a slow, calm approach to conclusions and for the formation of conclusions, everything must be given here and now to make the least effort; think as little as possible. The belief that worst is to be undefined is omnipresent – read neuter.

Norman Leto does not find himself in the high definition quality, as he writes: “Lack of concrete or generated noise from the inside often raises new ideas and is always refreshing.” Hence his tactics of constant avoidance: being unpredictable, slipping away from categories and descriptions, which is a way to leave oneself a gate for further experiments, allows to maintain autonomy and independence. At a time when even fire can be generated on the screen using a sequence of digits, Leto tries to escape simple definitions and generalizations – if only to not be reduced to an elementary pattern, tantamount to the loss of uniqueness and authenticity.
Peeled Away

He deliberately ignores current matters. It is a specific “detachment”, abstracting from the surrounding reality, allows him to study the behavior of the masses, including carrying out computer simulations, without unnecessary involvement. Unhooking from reality is the main axis of Leto’s work. Norman, what he does, he calls “art practiced in the psychological space”. “If you have any core personality, you will find a more interesting landscape in the middle of what is around you” – this sentence can be called the interpretation of his work. Concentrating on yourself and your own perception is a priority for Leto even when portraying another person. In this way, despite the reproduction of external externalities, each time a specific Norman self-portrait is created: “each portrait may look different, as if painted by another observer – all this depends on my internal conditions when portraying someone. The final effect always depends on me and my portrait – I’m not a camera. (…) I take a picture of my mind at a given moment. ” The resulting effect resembles the application of a filter, in this case it is the temperament of Norman Leto while working.

Release the steering wheel

If you take into account the distinction made by Erich Fromm for “freedom to” (positive) and “freedom from” (negative), art is the freedom to establish senses and meanings. Modern man, living in a world where individualism became a value, gained freedom in the sense of a positive realization of his “I”, and thus the expression of his individual emotional and sensual possibilities. Freedom may, however, also lead to crossroads, as the title of one of the previous individual Leto exhibitions presented at the Warsaw CCA (“Negative effects of freedom at the age of 26”) said. In extreme cases, there is a threat that freedom will turn into a permanent negative state, from which one wants to escape – often submissiveness, conformism and subordination, giving a sense of security. Aldous Huxley argued that freedom is inefficient and unpleasant; that freedom is a round peg in a square hole. In the case of Norman Leto, this “freedom from” is of fundamental importance, at least when it comes to such areas of life as music, painting, film – where, according to the artist, you do not have to worry about anything. Each of his objects is equally representative of the artist, so it really does not matter what will ultimately be chosen for the presentation. All things he does have the same rank. As a result of this method of work, the theme of the exhibition in the art nova agenda was the song “Buttes Monteaux”. The clip to it is in a way a side effect of work on another project: “I’ve changed my presentation (…) right before the exhibition, and then we made a rehearsal with the boys and we recorded the song ‘Buttes Monteaux’ without preparation. I used the flies from the room with Cobain to create delegates in the clip for this song, which at the last minute came to the gallery. ” The existence of the potential possibility of an infinite rework does not mean that Norman uses this option in every case: “We actually play it right away, we never know what it will be, we never improve anything (…), let the songs sound like they were played ( …) “; “I am not correcting the images either and I have stopped taking care of anything in this matter”. He does not accept any marketing strategy, he does not create for criticism. Formal issues fall into the background; the goal is expression. It can only be achieved through spontaneity, unblocking. Comfort resulting from the lack of pressure to achieve success and willingness to compete is what makes Leto predominant over the rest: the artist achieves the ease of creating with virtually every medium he tries, no matter if he is painting, working on visualization or video recording. He says that “there will be time for being a desperate”. For now, he would just like to come in, do his own, leave. Avoid repetition, depletion. To the question: “What would you like to achieve? What would be a failure for you? answers: fall into a rut or something like that.”
Underground. Understatement

Goethe said: “Artist, create, do not talk!” According to this postulate, Norman does not invest in PR, about him and his art is to speak for him. He’s far from a mania of size: he does not feel comfortable during interviews, he does not write manifestos. Creativity is at the same time a projector that projects emotion from the inside, as well as the screen behind it. He does not attack his person to exist at all costs. It is not enough, in turn this anonymity arouses curiosity and intrigues. He reluctantly explains.

With the recipient he communicates by combining a visual element with a purely verbal message. So in Nova we have the song “Buttes Monteaux” with the clip, “Fragments of the script” displayed on the TV screen (scrolling numbered verses enriched with an illustrative element in the form of computer animation) and complementing the whole three canvases. The form over the content has definitely been avoided. Everything seems to be fresh and unmonitored. The effect is achieved by means of a minimum of resources: narrowed coloring of images, text presented on old-school equipment, ascetic clip, i.e. no fireworks, no color fever.

The clip, presented in the largest gallery room, consists of three parallel tracks: music, visualization and the text appearing at the bottom of the screen. It seems that each of them runs along its own track (which is not surprising considering the way these components have been combined – “we play songs on exhibitions, or add films to which they can not fit.” The three paths, however, converge if you take into account post-grunge mood of the song, poster with Cobain hair, appearing in several shots and of course considering the pronunciation and message of the whole language expression is accompanied by a complementary “significant silence” or a shortage. Everyone is given the opportunity to personally make a deconstruction this creativity.

Are you a delegate?

The presentation in Nova addresses purely existential issues and provokes fundamental questions. Perhaps the most obvious problem of the whole show is the loss of modern man, the lack of authenticity. It’s all about finding a mythic meaning. It is still blind to follow the crowd, which is in fact a trap, and subsequent goals are systematically losing value with the appearance of more attractive ones. Leto points out conformism “from the beginning of the twenty-first century”, cutting off from his true self, accepting other people’s values and measures as the only proper, blind following the crowd – “delegates” – a pejorative term in this context. Norman Leto asks the question that Fromm had previously wondered: is the need for freedom coupled with the instinctive desire to limit this value? Everyone has to consider whether what he is aiming at, what he is pursuing, makes sense. And finally, after leaving the exhibition, he stays with a question addressed to himself: am I a delegate?