De(con)struction of the Leaning Tower II

Maria Pinińska-Bereś

  • type of object: sculpture
  • date: 1995
  • material/technique: sponge, canvas, acrylic, plywood
  • dimensions: various dimensions
  • inventory No.: RZ-70
  • image licensed under: CC BY-SA

In the early 1970s, Maria Pinińska-Bereś began to move away from traditional sculpture – she abandoned its durability and weight (also for practical reasons, to be able to carry her own lightweight works) and deliberately chose textiles and sewing techniques associated with women. She began by stuffing and shaping fabric objects, then covering these compositions with white and pink acrylic paint, making them resemble organic, erotic forms. Since the late 1970s, art critics have associated the sculptor’s work with feminism. Her art was not fully appreciated or understood during her lifetime, and has only experienced a renaissance in recent years.

De(con)struction of the Leaning Tower II is a three-part installation. The title is inscribed directly into the work, inscriptions often accompanying the artist’s sculptures. What we are dealing with here is a change in the meaning of one of the symbols of European culture: the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Pinińska-Bereś’s tower is not made of durable material, but of sponge, and it lacks a noble colour – it is pink (the artist’s signature colour). Deconstruction in this case relates to architecture, but in the 1990s it was also a popular philosophical concept in Poland (introduced around 1960 by Jacques Derrida). The famous monument has been deconstructed into three objects that evoke sensual and erotic associations.

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