Living Storages: Socially Appropriate, Personally Desired...

12.06 – 22.08.2021 Living Storages: Socially Appropriate, Personally Desired...

Zachęta – National Gallery of Art

artists: Stanisław Dróżdż, Aneta Grzeszykowska, Izabella Gustowska, Marianne Heske, Marek Sapetto, Zbigniew Warpechowski , Anna Witkowska and Artur Żmijewski (as part of the exhibition's accompanying programme)
curator: Daniel Kotowski
collaboration: Maria Świerżewska, Monika Zaleszczuk
production: Marek Janczewski and team

The latest show in the Living Storages series came about as the result of a search of the Zachęta collection for works depicting reactions to the experience of social pressure The selection of works shows the difficulties posed by a system in which the model of the ‘statistical human’ is in force, also calling attention to the problem of biopower, the mechanisms of power over the body, people, or oneself.

The title of the show is a subversive reference to the privileged position of a person in society. The fulfilment of expectations concerning behaviour or appearance allows us to live in accordance with norms, and the model of a ‘normal person’ represents what is universal. Thus, a person is expected to be normal, to feel formally, to see normally, to hear normally. This standard model impacts both the formation of the body and the way of life. In her book Staring: How We Look, Rosemarie Garland-Thomson characterises this normal as ‘the measure of the good, true, and healthy, [which] also determines the status and value of people in the modern world’.

Anyone who wants to be a member of society must conform to the norm. They must be socially appropriate, statistically average, scientifically healthy and personally desired. Thus, they strive to achieve a state of normality. They do this by working on themselves and controlling their reflexes in everyday behaviour, conduct and habits. In this way, they become part of the power mechanism that regulates social life.

Works on exhibition

  • Zdjęcie pracy Loneliness
    LonelinessStanisław Dróżdż2003
  • Zdjęcie pracy Względne cechy podobieństwa XIII
    Względne cechy podobieństwa XIIIIzabella Gustowska1980
  • Zdjęcie pracy Negative book # 7
    Negative book # 7Aneta Grzeszykowska2012
  • Zdjęcie pracy Heads
    HeadsMarianne Heske2014
  • Zdjęcie pracy Composition (Making Power)
    Composition (Making Power)Marek Sapetto1972
  • Zdjęcie pracy The Dialogue with a Fish
    The Dialogue with a FishZbigniew Warpechowski1973
  • Zdjęcie pracy Kiss
    KissAnna Witkowska2008
  • Zdjęcie pracy Singing Lesson 2
    Singing Lesson 2Artur Żmijewski2003
Related media
  • Grafika obiektu: 3D Exhibition: Living Storages
    mediateka / 3D documentation
    3D Exhibition: Living Storages
    Socially Appropriate, Personally Desired...
  • Grafika obiektu: Singing Lesson 2
    mediateka / films
    Singing Lesson 2
    Daniel Kotowski talks to Artur Żmijewski
Related events
  • 12.06 (Sat) 13:00
    Curatorial guided tour
    (in Polish and Polish Sign Language)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 24.06 (Thu) 18:00
    Singing Lesson 2
    Film screening and meeting with Artur Żmijewski (in Polish)
    Zachęta / cinema room (entrance from Burschego street)cinema room
  • 14.07 (Wed) 18:00
    Zachęta Signs!
    Guided tour in Polish Sign Language
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 21.08 (Sat) 16:00
    Live Storages: Socially Appropriate, Personally Desired...
    Final guided tour (in Polish)
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta
  • 21.08 (Sat) 18:00
    Fairy tale about normality
    Zachęta – National Gallery of ArtZachęta


Living Storages: Socially Appropriate, Personally Desired...
12.06 – 22.08.2021

Zachęta – National Gallery of Art
pl. Małachowskiego 3, 00-916 Warsaw
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Godziny otwarcia:
Tuesday – Sunday 12–8 p.m.
Thursday – free entry
ticket office is open until 7.30 p.m.

Media support:
British Council