On Saturday, March 20, 2004, in the buffet on the Wolski Hospital grounds in Warsaw, I got behind the counter, replacing Ms. Krystyna, who normally works there. It was an entry into existing conditions: without interference that would change the surroundings. Only one element of the setting changed – the person.
Only Love was the result of a series of coincidences – moving my studio from the hospital grounds to Praga Pólnoc, locking the car with the keys inside, waiting out in the cold with a freezing 14 year-old daschund named Tofi, accidentally discovering the buffet. It was an attempt to reconstruct this charming moment, when a group of friends found themselves in Buffet Smaczek that day. A reconstruction with all the details – the sounds, the old dog’s behavior, a winter afternoon’s atmosphere.
The buffet is a unique place because the decor is maintained in a 70’s style, with works by amateur artists and patients, lots of mysterious objects and delicious, traditional food. The tidiness and concern for artifacts is striking. It is not however a wax museum full of characters from the Gierek era. It’s actually a model dwelling; moved into inhospitable conditions. The buffet is located inside a repulsive, concrete building. It’s a place off the beaten track, getting there is quite hard. It takes an accident to get there.