Illness Without a PatientJoanna Bednarek
Philosopher Joanna Bednarek writes about Joanna Piotrowska’s photographs.
Joanna Piotrowska is a visual artist and photographer living and working in London. Her individual exhibition – Frowst – can be seen at the Zachęta from 18 September. On our website, you can also read the 15th issue of the Zachęta Online Magazine, which opens with an interview with the artist. “The subject of touch is present in many of my works. First in the Frowst series, in the context of intimate family relationships. It is also present in the video showing hands in a therapeutic gesture. Next, in subsequent works, in the act of physical conflict, or self-defence. What matters to me is to create such connections and segue from animal to person, from person to house, from house to cage, from cage to shelter, safety, intimacy, and touch. I keep walking between these points of reference, trying to examine the relationship between them” – Piotrowska told Magdalena Komornicka in March. In turn, in the text Disease without a patient by philosopher Joanna Bednarek, you can read about the relationships of power in Piotrowska’s works.
In the context of the new exhibition of works from our collection, we bring back Anna Baumgart’s film Ecstatics, Hysterics and Other Saint Ladies (2004), in which the artist deals with the problem of women’s self-aggressive behaviours. Baumgart and the women that she invited performed gestures and actions that accompany self-mutilation, telling their dramatic stories in three separate parts. In a very personal film You Are a Cute One, Sweetie, which we showed at the exhibition in 2017, Aleksandra Kubiak recalled the figure of her tragically deceased mother, at the same time undergoing a kind of self-therapy in front of the viewers.
It is also worth viewing the folder that accompanies the exhibition Three women. Maria Pinińska-Bereś, Natalia Lach-Lachowicz, Ewa Partum (2011) and watching the film Inspirations for show, or how to understand Anette Messager made by Monika Weychert Waluszko on the occasion of the artist’s exhibition at the Zachęta (2010). All to enjoy again the classic female artists (and pioneers) – from Poland and France.