Ewa Partum: The Legality of Space
a studio space showing of photography by Donna L. Clovis
Opening: June 17th, 7pm
Dates: June 17th – August 15th, 2006
Exhibition curator: Aneta Szylak
Workshop curator: Berenika Partum
Location: Wyspa Institute of Art / Wyspa Progress Foundation – 1 Doki Street building 145B – 80-958 Gdansk, Poland
“Ewa Partum: The Legality of Space” is planned to be a non-typical, synchronic retrospective of Ewa Partum – the eminent Polish early conceptual and feminist artist, whose career started in 1965. The project speaks from the today’s perspective on the creative output of this legendary figure, that left Poland in 1980s and by invitation of Wolf Vostell settled down in Berlin. Her achievements still remain to be not enough examined in critical reflection on conceptual art in the country nor significantly represented in Polish art collections. The aim of the exhibition, publication, workshop and panel discussion is to undermine the historic and fragmented rhythm in the reception of her oeuvre and to reconstruct the most important, original and innovative plots in her art. In parallel, due to the specifics of the subject, the project targets toward the issue of documentation of ephemeral art, asks about the role of the recording and re-enactment and reaches for the archival to broaden the field of reception of Ewa Partum’s art.
The project title originates from the conceptual installation made by Partum in 1971 at Plac Wolnosci (The Freedom Square) in Lodz. The phrase is also being turned into the conceptual tool aimed to ask the question about role of the female artist and a woman in the public discourse from 1960s up to now and to investigate the perception of feminist and conceptual art as well as the impact of the public image of a female artist on the reception of her art. In course to achieve that, the exhibition will feature several documentary recordings of her performances and direct speeches by the artists as well as the films of 1970 and 1980 that tried to capture the phenomenon of Partum. Although its major content refers to the earlier pieces, the exhibition will feature also newly developed projects, showing the significant shift in artist’s area of interest – the piercing criticism toward economy and politics as well as institutional critique.
From the impressive output of the artist and connected with her creativity additional materials have been chosen those that define the presence of a woman in the public space and outline the artist’s personal space. The exhibition at Wyspa Institute of Art puts on display the most important areas of Partum’s art and the specific relations between those spheres. It will generate the contextual relations both with conceptual tradition and is musealization as well as the specific location at Gdansk shipyard. The exhibition leaves also the walls of Wyspa and encroaches the public space to confront her historic works with new cultural and political reality. New senses generated through this endeavor will stimulate new perspectives in observing this still incredibly contemporary and asking essential questions work.
The exhibition is preceded June 1-7, 2006 by the workshop for young performance artists “Reproducing the Past” at Modelarnia, run by the artist’s daughter, an art historian Berenika Partum. The workshop will analyze and re-enact early performances Ewa Partum and extrapolate it into the new artistic, political and architectural context. In some part of the workshop the artists will be present. The new versions of performances will be presented to the public and video and photography documented.
The book “Ewa Partum”, edited by Aneta Szylak, including the texts by Prof. Grzegorz Dziamski, Prof. Andrzej Turowski, Lukasz Ronduda and Dorota Monkiewicz, Angelika Stepken and the exhibition curator, will be published during the exhibition. The role of the book is to bring together the variety of positions in looking at and interpreting art of Ewa Partum, to deliver the precise information on her output, especially its chronology and to problematize the specific plots of her art. The publication is being prepared and will be co-published and distributed in collaboration with Revolver Archiv für aktuelle Kunst in Frankfurt.
Organization: Wyspa Progress Foundation, Büro Kopernikus, Signum Foundation and Badischer Kunstverein in Karlsruhe.
Wyspa Progress Foundations is non-profit non governmental public charity organization entered in the National Court Register under number 000063731.
The project takes place in the framework of Büro Kopernikus. German-Polish Cultural Projects, an initiative of the German Federal Cultural Foundation (Kulturstiftung des Bundes) www.buero-kopernikus.de.