Szpilman Award

Another of Buddhism’s three marks of existence is Impermanence.  Everything comes into existence, stays around for some length of time, and then, when causes and conditions no longer support it, it ceases.

This constant change is one of the sources of Dukkha I mentioned in a previous post.  Meditating on this is an important part of the Buddhist path.

So running across the Szpliman Award, I found a resonance with this.  The Award’s description is:

The Szpilman Award is awarded to works that exist only for a moment or a short period of time. The purpose of the award is to promote such works whose forms consist of ephemeral situations.

The contest awards a prize as well:

The Szpilman Award is awarded annually.

The prize winner receives the Jackpot Stipendium. The scholarship consists of three parts: A challenge cup, 10 days of accommodation in Cimochowizna (Poland), and a sum of money in cash.

The amount of money is dynamic. Szpilman is raising money parallel to the competition. The prize winner receives the money that is raised until September 30, 2012. The current score may be checked.

Among the applicants, one award winner will be identified. The challenge cup will be handed over to the next prize winner in the subsequent year.

The 2010 winner

Sara Nuytemans & Arya Pandjalu call for a bike gang to drive through the city of Yogyakarta. The bikers wear special designed helmets, weighty and beautiful, stuffed with soil and planted with a tree. The performance is meant

as a hommage to this very green city and also a wink to the idea for direct carbon dioxide compensation

While the 2011 winner

Jaroslav Kyša uses doves as living barriers in the city of London by secretly scattering their favourite fodder in front of shops or across busy streets

The website describes the videos as “documentation”.  That is to say the work of art is the event itself rather than the video or pictures of it.  There is a subtle shift here.  The recognition of imperenence can begin to change one’s habitual patterns of thought away from the assumption that we persist through all time.

In any event, I’m slowly trying to conceptualize a work to submit to this contest.  Traveling to Poland might as well be traveling to the moon for me.  Going to a grocery store is pretty overwhelming as it is.  Somehow that makes th whole idea resonate even more deeply for me.

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