Art Beyond Logic – Interview with Niemir Ruta, an Anartist
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Interviewed by Wigilia Radzimir

If you are at least a little bit interested in the earth anartistic movement, you must have heard the name of Niemir Ruta. As one of the leading representatives of Are We Cool Yet? in Central Europe, he is known for his numerous exhibitions, performances and other projects. We, the editors of Planasthai, asked him about his current activities and future plans.

Planasthai: Thank you very much for agreeing to do this interview. Could you first tell us something about yourself?

Niemir Ruta: No, thank you, I've been waiting for this opportunity myself. My name is Niemir Ruta, I am an anartist and the only thing I like as much as making art is talking about it (laughs). What to say… I'm twenty eight years old, I've been doing anomalous art since I was eighteen… I learned everything on my own, from the internet, books and with a little help from some friends. I'll immodestly admit that I've become quite well known lately. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing, because after a while that kind of fame can attract the wrong people.

P: Have you actually had problems with the law because of your job? Jailors, Book Burners…

NR: Fortunately I didn't, but one of my friends did. Although it could have been worse, because he just handed over one gadget to the Jailors and told them to get going, and since it was literally just a magic towel, nothing really happened. But in general we try to maintain the appropriate level of discretion, we invite only selected people to the exhibitions, we take appropriate precautions so that some normals don't stumble upon us. By the way, at the latest exhibition, the fairy-tale one, I'll come back to that, we had a funny situation, because one guy brought his kids to show them the Smurf village and stuff, but he lost his PZGA ID card and they wouldn't let him in on his word of honor. Like, come on, if he knows about all this, he's not some random redneck! But I'm getting off topic here…

P: Right, could you tell something more about your current project?

NR: Naturally. It's an exhibition called "Living Fairy Tales." It's only open on full moons, new moons, equinoxes and solstices, from Midsummer Night 2020 to All Souls Day 2028 (we hope), in the Białowieża Forest. This is one of our most ambitious projects to date (although we are planning something even bigger, but more on that later). To get there, you literally have to follow the white rabbit; a large area full of hidden nooks and crannies awaits you, where you can find genuinely magical artifacts, locations, and even characters from famous fairy tales. Of course, it's all sprinkled with a fair dose of the anomalous, so it's a whole lot better than some Disneyland (laughs). If you want to book a guided tour instead of exploring on your own, you'll meet Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf, played by Pola Janczar and Andrzej Lasocki. The whole point is that Andrzej is a werewolf, imagine that. And not just any werewolf, because he can change on demand, and in human form he's the coolest guy you've ever met. A typical metalhead with a heart of gold. Pola is his girlfriend, who in addition has a "total babyface" (sorry, Pola, your words), which is why they got along so well for their roles on the exhibition.

P: Would you like to describe any of the pieces at this exhibition?

NR: I don't want to spoil too much, but I can tell you a few things about the main attractions. The gift store is in one of the rooms in the gingerbread house on a chicken leg, where the main hall looks exactly as described in "Hansel and Gretel" — an oven with a chimney, a broomstick, the whole shebang. The candy from which the house is constructed can be eaten at will — shortages will fill themselves. The house can also move on its own, but we try not to do that too often, because jumping on one giant leg makes everything inside change position too (laughs, pause). I wonder what else I could talk about, without giving too much away at the same time… Oh, right, of course. I almost forgot. Every spring equinox we organize a LARP there, in the style of another fairy tale, of course with full contact, all moves allowed. Every participant has to sign anomalously binding rules, which gives a specific kind of protection and ensures that everyone will come out of this crazy thing unscathed. We've got it pretty well tested and tailored to different types of people, so to speak. You can even be turned to stone by the Basilisk or devoured by the Wawel Dragon, and at the end of the party you'll be fine. The first such LARP will take place on the upcoming equinox, the night of March 20-21, and the theme will be "Cinderella"… with a few unexpected twists, of course. Before you ask — unfortunately you can't sign up anymore, because we closed accreditation on February 1st, but we are looking forward to seeing you next year!

P: Wow, that sounds like a lot of fun! Forgive me, but I'm going to say something perhaps controversial right now…

NR: Uh-huh, I'm already scared (laughter).

P: Do you consider role-playing a type of art? I've personally encountered some incredibly heated discussions on the subject.

NR: But of course, yes, by all means! After all, it is a form of theater. And an incredibly difficult one at that, because it's mostly improvised! Art should, above all, evoke emotions in the recipient, and the immersion provided by RPGs or LARPs engages that recipient to the highest degree! The so-called bleed after the adventure is over is incredibly artistic, at least in my opinion. It's like a performance created second by second, with a huge commitment from many people wanting to create something cool together.

P: Beautifully explained!

NR: (laugh) Thanks.

P: I have a couple more things I'd like to ask you about. Do you have any favorite projects from the past?

NR: Hmm… If I had to pick one, I think I'd pick the one from 2015, when we were creating what we called something out of nothing on stage. It consisted more or less of making up (or asking the audience to make up) non-existent words like "flungarp" or "ikokotam" (these two I remember best), and then with the help of anomalous means we created new objects based on them. "Flungarp" turned out to be something with the consistency and color of "Gibek" ice cream, which was able to produce mucus that shrunk organic matter; I have a miniaturized fingernail on my little finger as a memento of it, look (he indeed shows a smaller-than-normal fingernail), and "ikokotam" manifested as some strange little animal that was probably a color inaccessible to human eyes, because it shimmered in a very strange way. All these "conjured" objects disappeared after each performance.

P: This is really fascinating, I wish I had the opportunity to see it… Coming back to the questions — what about the future? You mentioned something about an even bigger project than "Living Fairy Tales"?

NR: Oh, yeah, yeah, I did. We're planning to roll this one out next Halloween, that's 2022, and as you can guess from the date, the theme will be pretty spooky (laughs). Fortunately, no one will have to shoot me if I chime in with a few details, because I'm in charge of it. It's going to be an interactive exhibition similar to "Fairy Tales," except that it will specifically reference different aspects of horror. The project is still in the early stages of development, so a lot can change, but I'm sure we'll divide it up somehow according to the different subgenres of horror — gothic, slashers, psychological, cosmic horror, paranormal horror… you get the point. We also plan to include an educational element, where the viewer can learn a bit about the origins of various monsters or beliefs. We even hired a team of ethnographers and culturologists to do it. It was difficult to get them together, because naturally we had to find people who already knew a little bit about anomalies, but we managed and we are ready to start putting the project together. Honestly? I can't wait to see it finished. It's going to be something really cool. I don't want to promise any specifics because there's still a lot of time left before it's ready, but I assure you — there's going to be a lot to be excited about.

P: We await with eager anticipation. Niemir, thanks again on behalf of the editorial team for giving the interview. Good luck with your creations!

NR: Thanks! And the same to you.



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