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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » April 30, 2010
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April 30, 2010   
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Gender Roles Deconstructed
The exhibition Gender Check: Feminity and Masculinity in Eastern European Art at the Zachęta National Gallery comprises more than 400 paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, posters, films and videos dedicated to the issue of gender roles.

The exhibition, which brings together works by more than 200 artists representing 24 Central and Eastern European countries, illustrates the transformation in the stereotypical perceptions of the socio-political roles of men and women since the 1960s.

The relationship between art and history is recreated both chronologically and thematically. The exhibition has been divided into three parts: the Socialist Iconosphere, Negotiating Personal Space, and the Postcommunist Gender Landscape. These, in turn, consist of several sub-themes, including the socialist concept of man and woman, self-portraits of female artists, and the deconstruction of the heroic male subject and feminist art. Our stereotypical perceptions of motherhood and our ideals of masculinity and femininity are thrown open for discussion. Quite a few works deal with the body, especially the female form.

Internationally acclaimed foreign artists taking part include Marina Abramović, Boris Mikhailov, Anri Sala, Lia Perjovschi and Vladislav Mamyshev-Monroe. The Polish contingent likewise boasts some big names in the international art world, including Katarzyna Kozyra, Alina Szapocznikow, Jerzy Bere¶, Zbigniew Libera, and Katarzyna Kobro.

Open until June 13
Zachęta National Gallery of Art,
3 Małachowskiego Sq.
Tel: 22 556 96 55; www.zacheta.art.pl

Love, Polish Style
The Orangery at the Wilanów Palace Museum is hosting an exhibition entitled Amor Polonus (Polish Love), which offers glimpses into the subject of love in various manifestations throughout different historical periods.

The exhibition focuses on the three aspects of love that bind men and women, families and nations, and go under the headings Amor Feminae (Love of Woman), Amor Familiae (Love of Family) and Amor Patriae (Love of Country).

There are over 250 exhibits, including more than 70 paintings. There are also sculptures, engravings, handicrafts, parts of weapons, clothing, musical instruments and blankets. The items come from over 30 domestic and foreign museums and from private collections.

The Love of Country section opens with a sketch by Jan Matejko for his painting The Battle of Grunwald and ends with Jacek Malczewski’s portrait of Polish leader Marshal Józef Piłsudski.

The Love of Woman section has portraits of Queen Barbara Radziwiłł, and Napoleon and his mistress Maria Walewska. There are also feminine accessories like fans and Queen Maria Kazimiera’s dressing table. The Love of Family section has a sculpture of Prince Henryk Lubomirski as Amor by Antonio Canova and a portrait by Jan Matejko of his children.

The exhibition is accompanied by educational and artistic events. There are music lessons, workshops (including on the links between the magic of love and food), early music concerts, theatrical performances, and games and competitions.

Open until Aug. 15
Wilanów Palace Museum
10/16 Stanisława Kostki-Potockiego St.
Tel: 22 842 81 01, 842 07 95

Neo-Avant Garde and Religion
Photographs, videos, paintings, films and drawings by Paweł Kwiek, a leading exponent of 1970s Polish neo-avant garde, are on display at the Center for Contemporary Art in Warsaw. The exhibition is entitled Light – Love – Peace. This is the first exhibition of the work of this extraordinary artist and thinker and embraces underlying questions found in his work, such as good, being, beauty and love.

The exhibition includes films by Kwiek made as part of the Workshop of the Film Form, including his most famous experimental and political film 1,2,3 Operator’s Exercise (1972); the equally experimental Niechcice (1973), which was shot on a state agricultural farm as part of a youth workshop; and Poem About Awareness (1977), made in collaboration with high school graduation classes.

Trailblazing films like the Video A-Z series (1974), Video O, Video P, Video-Photographic Drawings (1977) and Video-Breath (1978) and included. Here, the artist explores the relationship between human corporeality and the electronic media, especially television. These works are unparalleled in European art.

Kwiek is portrayed as a writer of manifests, texts and theories about art and its contemporary language, as an artist who is always there and who never tires of talking about art. His statements, poetry and performance art are on display alongside his films.

Along with Józef Robakowski, Kwiek is hailed as Poland’s most significant maker of “assembled” films—films made from footage shot by different people. The neo-avant garde used artistic works as tools to express political, social and religious messages. Kwiek deploys the idiom of contemporary art to convey religious meaning in a spirit of ecumenicalism. He is an artist fighting for peace in the world.

Exhibition open until May 30.
Ujazdowski Castle Center for Contemporary Art, 2 Jazdów St.
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