Looking at Polish art during the last decade, we can observe a sudden increase in the number of women artists using video techniques. The idea of this presentation is the attempt to establish the genealogy of this phenomenon. It is an attempt to explain how Polish women artists confronted their ideas and artistic strategies with film and video in the 1970s and 1980s. Featuring a variety of artistic strategies, concepts, and styles in the work of Polish women artists with film, the presentation also serves to showcase the specificities of change in Polish art during these decades.
The series premiered as part of the SculptureCenter's exhibition Architectures of Gender. Contemporary Women's Art in Poland this past spring in New York City. Many of the films in this presentation are being shown here for the first time since their premiere 20 or 30 years ago. The majority have had to be restored or even partially reconstructed.
The presentation will include films by Ewa Partum from the 1970's: realizations of the idea of visual poetry, as well as films fulfilling the paradigm of structural cinema, will be shown along with documentations of the artist's actions in public space and performances in which she addresses feminist ideology.
Examples of the interest in body issues are Grain (1980), by Teresa Tyszkiewicz - which, because of its formal structure as well as the way the filmmaker actualizes body issues, may be interpreted as an example of filmic ecriture feminine - and Interferences (1985-2000), by Barbara Konopka, showing the transformation in her approach to body issues undertaken by the artist from the 1980s to 2000.
Two artists who were the first to apply the feminist approach in Polish art also expressed their ideas in the film medium. In Reconstruction of the projection of the film "Open Form" (1971-2001), Zofia Kulik reveals the sources (1971) of her artistic activity today, which is constructing huge, multi-elemental, multi-narrative, "simultaneous" photographic compositions. Consumption Art (1973), by Natalia LL, is a film version of her already classic photographic cycle of the same title. The artist plays a double critical game here, deconstructing both the strategy of conceptual art's "cold", systematic analysis and the conventional codes of popular art.
By the same token, Murderer (1975), by Katarzyna Hierowska, is an absurdist parody of both the language of popular culture (i.e., action movies) and the "academic" approach of analytic art in the 1970s.
- Fragments of a film, An Open Form (Forma Otwarta), 1971 (by Zofia Kulik, Przemyslaw Kwiek, Jan Stanislaw Wojciechowski, and Pawel Kwiek)
- Consumption Art (Sztuka Konsumpcyjna), 1973
- Artificial reality (Sztuczna rzeczywistosc), 1976
- Tautological cinema: Drawing TV, 1976
- Documentation of the performance Change: My Problem is a Woman's Problem (Change - Mój problem jest problemem kobiety), Art Forum Gallery, Lodz, 1979
- Documentation of the action Selfidentification (Samoidentyfikacja), Mala Gallery, Warsaw, 1980
- Murderer, 1975 (realized together with Stanislaw Antosz as a duo, Antosz & Andzia)
- The End-The End (koniec-koniec), 1979
- Symptoms (Przejawy), 1980
- Interferences (Interferencje), 1985/ 2000