I immerse in the crowd like a grain of sand in the friable sands.
I am fading among the anonymity of glances,movements,smells,in
the common absorption of air,in the common pulsation of juices
under the skin.
I become a cell of this boundless organism of the crowd,like
others already integrated and deprived of expression.
Destoroying each other,we regnerate.Through hate and love,we
stimulate each other.
Quantity,a large number constituting a single work,was unusual in
sculptural practice at that time.I felt a mistrust.
I was asked:Is this an edition? How do you intend to number
them? I replied:Don't you see that each is an individual,different in
expression?Their bodies are similar,but their sueface are like
wrinkled faces conveying particular information.Once the art critic
used to judge ability and technique:today he seems to judge the
imagination of the creator,knowing in advance how art should look.
Is my art not-lihe sweat-the sympton of my existence?
Taking the decision to create froups,I wanted to question
sculpture as a single object easily turned into decoration.
I wanted to confront man with himself,with his solitude in
multitude.I wanted to show the populated space.I wanted to
bewitch the real crowd.
In my childhood I witnessed how masses worship on command
and hate on command.Herodotus observed already several
centuries before Christ that it is much easier foe a leader to
convince a crowd than an individual.
Fascinated by quantity I continued to cast human bodies in
burlap,later in aluminum,bronze,and iron.Headless,shell-like,often
only with legs,carring the meaningful trunk,or with arms hanging
like unnecessary tools,or with hands strong and aggressive.
No face-which would eliminate all the mysteries of the body.
The number of figures grows each year.The entire population of
sitting,standing,walking ans dancing figures,the Crowds, Flocks,
Hurma and the others would be enough to fill a large public
square.Today there might be more than two thousans,but they
have never been seen togethwe.Some of the groups can be found
in museums and public collections in different parts of the
world.They constitute an interrogation, a sign of lasting anxiety,
I do not make editions,copies of one form.Every figure is an
individual.A shape obedient to my hands id obedient to my desires.
Quantity has its laws in the behavior of nature:
I once observed mosquitoes swarming.In gray masses.Host upon
host.Little creatures in a slew of other little creatures.In incessant
motion.Each preoccupied with its own spoor.Each different,distinct
in details of shape.A horde emitting a common sound.Were they
mosquitoes or people?
I feel overawed by quantity where counting no longer makes
sense.By unrepeatability within such a quantity.By creatures of
nature gathered in herds,droves,species,in which each
individual,while subservient to the mass,retains some distinguishing
A crowd of people or birds,insects ot leaves,is a mysterious
assemblage of variants of a certain prototype.A riddle of nature's
abhorrence of exact trpetition or inability to prpduce it.Just as
the human hand cannot repeat its own gesture.I invoke this
disturbing laws,switching my own immobile herds into that rhythm.
It has taken me years to create this barrier of my crowds between
me and man,any man that I was frightened of.
Man whose history consists of senseless killing and destruction,
without concept and any objective,without rational order.Behind
the barrier of all the created figures I feel secure.
Some years ago a child came to my studio and desired to be
cast in plaster.He was a boy.Then came a girl who wanted also to
become my model.I observed with amazement this fragile
anatomy.A year passed and ther grew.I cast them again.This was
the beginning of my large groups: Ragazzi,Infantes,Puellae,
Imagination is stronger than reality,or rather replaces it.
I remember the severe winter of 1942.The German occupied
Poland.The war of Hitler with Russia continued.A transport of
children from Poland to Germant,where they would be turned
into Germans,was stopped by accident for a day a night.
The train was not heated.Hundreds of blond,blue-eyed children in
the unheated catttle carriages frozen to death.When finally
soldiers opened the doors,the bodies fell out,stiff and hard like
I wasn't there.The person telling me about this built images in my
younf memory-clear,strong and lasting.
My figures derive from living models;which are ,however,only a
pretext.The fonished sculpture is a result if interpretations,
decisions often distant from where I began.
Regazzi:I deliberately deformed each burlap figure until a strong
unrealistic rhythm occurred in the group.
The Infantes were reduced to only a body and legs.Displayed like
little tree trunks they formed a half circle.
Models of O Puellae traveled with me to the bronze foundry in
Italy.I remember them as disobedient.Their legs and bellies
demanded special care.Now they are in permanent residence at
the Sculpture Garden of the National Gallery in Washington,
installed under trees.
Hurma consists of 250 figures,made out of jute sacks I got from
an old mill.I fixed all with resin.They are adults and children,
differing in size,shape,texture.The group still belongs to me.
I made it at the beginning of the Nineties.First shown in Poland in
my retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art,then in
Switzerland at the Lucerne Museum,more recently in Paris at La