Uniwersytet WrocławskiInstytut Historii Sztuki Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego













dr hab. Anna Markowska, Professor of the University of Wrocław

Current lectures

Current lectures (Academic Year 2012/13)

Exhibitions of Art: Theory and Practice

Current debates on strategies of display and international contemporary art exhibitions are points of departure to re-examine some past gallery and museum shows in Poland. How can we understand “I Exhibition of Modern Art in Cracow” (1948), “The Popular Exhibition” by Tadeusz Kantor (1963) and “Symposium Wroclaw’70” in nowadays perspective? What new challenges are connected with the conceptual paradigm shift? Special attention will be paid to the so-called “author’s” galleries – small non-professional spaces which emerged during the seventies in Poland. Our case study is the exhibition Where is PERMAFO? opened in Muzeum Współczesne Wrocław at the end of November 2012. It is devoted to the PERMAFO gallery (1970-1981) established by Antoni Dzieduszycki, an art critic, and three artists – Zbigniew Dłubak, Natalia LL and Andrzej Lachowicz.

muzeumwspolczesne.pl

As a curator of that exhibition I ask if it is possible to recreate after many years the tameless, free spirit of the 70s, the paradoxical connection of avant-garde and counter-culture.

Our objectives are to encourage museum and gallery goers to raise questions concerning methods of display and imposed narratives, to offer historical knowledge on ways of arranging exhibitions and problems they brought.


Bibliography:

  1. W. Bruszewski, Fotograf, Kraków 2007.
  2. M. de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, trans. Steven Rendall, University of California Press, Berkeley 1984.
  3. Display. Strategie wystawiania, red. M. Hussakowska, E. M. Tatar, Kraków 2012
  4. G. Dziamski, Przełom konceptualny i jego wpływ na praktykę i teorię sztuki, Poznań 2010
  5. G. Dziamski, Szkice o nowej sztuce, Młodzieżowa Agencja Wydawnicza, Warszawa 1984
  6. Exhibition Experiments, eds P. Basu, S. Macdonald, Oxford: Blackwell, 2007.
  7. M. Lachowski, Awangarda wobec instytucji. O sposobach prezentacji sztuki w PRL-u. Lublin 2006
  8. J. Ludwiński, Epoka błękitu, Otwarta Pracownia, Kraków 2003
  9. Otwarta galeria. Formy przestrzenne w Elblągu, red. J. Denisiuk, Centrum Sztuki Galeria EL, Elbląg 2006
  10. Permafo, red. A. Markowska, Muzeum Współczesne Wrocław, Muzeum Narodowe we Wrocławiu, Wrocław 2012
  11. Refleksja konceptualna w sztuce polskiej. Doświadczenia Dyskursu: 1965-1975, red. P. Polit, P. Woźniakiewicz, Warszawa 2000
  12. Ł. Ronduda, Polish Art of the 70’s, Warsaw 2009
  13. Rozmawiając o wystawie (Talking about Exhibition), ed. by M. Hussakowska, Kraków 2012 (available on line).
  14. Thinking about Exhibitions, London-New York: Routledge 1996
  15. I Wystawa Sztuki Nowoczesnej pięćdziesiąt lat później, Galeria Starmach, Kraków 1998
  16. Wokół sporów o definicję przedmiotu sztuki. Miejsce konceptualizmu, kontekstualizmu i sztuki pojęciowej w historii sztuki najnowszej, red. B. Jasiński, Gorzów Wielkopolski 2009

Previous lectures (Academic Year 2011/12)

Neo-Avant-Garde Art in Wroclaw in the 1970s. Conceptualism and Beyond.

According to many scholars the Wroclaw'70 artistic symposium was the first manifestation of conceptual art in Poland that marked a paradigm shift - an emergence of a new language of art. Conceptual art broke with a consensual aura around modernism, widely perceived since the Stalinist thaw of 1955 as a resistant attitude against Sovietization. With a new generation some new ideas about relations with external world emerged: the need to analyse the language of power and art was stronger than the need for innovation and sublime taste which now seemed to construct too firm fences brutally isolating art from reality. The new generation perceived modernism as anachronistic academism, preferred recognising an artist's ideas to the contemplation of aesthetic contents of a work of art and acknowledged the role of art institutions in a totally different way, as something involved in both creating a language of art and selecting and manipulating the audience. After the conceptual shift artists found it unnecessary to underline the autonomy of art - it rather gave statements which needed some interpretation in the context of life than gave innovative and unique form which desired to be framed in a white box of a gallery space. Moreover, conceptual language offered a new way of grasping identity and became very convenient to many female artists to use it as an idiom of emancipation. Wroclaw has one of the most vivid and powerful neo-avant-garde traditions relying on such critics as Jerzy Ludwiński and Antoni Dzieduszycki, such artists as Natalia LL, Andrzej Lachowicz, Anna Kutera, Romuald Kutera and such "semi-private" galleries as "Galeria pod Moną Lizą", "Permafo" or "Galeria Sztuki Najnowszej". Some new books on Polish conceptualism published quite recently require meticulous reading in order to ask about the legacy of Wroclavian neo-avant-garde, relations with power, engagement in dismantling the authorities of "small stabilization" and its role in the emerging discourse of identity and institutional critique.

Bibliography:

  • Autonomiczny ruch konceptualny w Polsce, red. Z. Warpechowski, Lublin 2002
  • Baworowska B., Jerzy Rosołowicz, w: Polski Słownik Biograficzny, tom XXXII, Zakład Narodowy imienia Ossolińskich, Wrocław-Warszawa-Kraków-Gdańsk-Łódź 1989, s. 120-121
  • Beke L., Conceptual Tendencies in Eastern European Art, [w:] Global Conceptualism: Points of Origin 1950 - 1980, New York 1999
  • Bogucki J., Dewaluacja współczesnego układu artystycznego, w: Tegoż, Pop - Ezo - Sacrum, Wydawnictwo Pallotinum, Poznań 1990.
  • Busza J., Krótka refleksja na temat fotografii socjologicznej, w: Wobec odbiorców fotografii, Warszawa 1990, s. 148-149.
  • Cieślik K., Rozmowy o wrocławskim konceptualizmie, "Dyskurs" nr 6
  • Conceptual Art. A Critical Anthology, ed. A. Alberro, Blake Stimson, MIT 2000.
  • Conceptual Reflection in Polish Art. Experience of Discourse 1965-1975, ed. P. Polit, P. Woźniakiewicz, Warszawa 2000
  • Czartoryska U., Od pop-artu do sztuki konceptualnej, Warszawa 1976.
  • Davies N., Moorhuse R., Microcosm: Portrait of a Central European City, Jonathan Cape, London 2000 (Polish translation: Mikrokosmos. Portret miasta środkowoeuropejskiego, Kraków 2002),
  • Dłubak Z., Wybrane teksty o sztuce 1948 - 1977, Galeria Remont, Warszawa 1977
  • Dziamski G., Przełom konceptualny i jego wpływ na praktykę i teorię sztuki, Poznań 2010.
  • Dziamski, G., Spór o sztukę konceptualną w Polsce, "Dyskurs" nr 7
  • Dziamski G., Independent Author's Galleries in Poland during the 1970, "Polish Art Studies", 1993, t. XIII.
  • http://test.asp.wroc.pl/dyskurs/Dyskurs7/GrzegorzDziamski.pdf
  • Gizycki M., Foto-art i jego realizacje filmowe w Polsce, "Sztuka" 1/4 1977
  • Groh K., Aktuelle Kunst in Osteuropa - ČSSR, Jugoslawien, Polen, Rumänien, UdSSR, Ungarn, DuMont Schauberg, Köln 1972
  • Janczyk M., Święch I., "Tak myślę". Fotografia Zbigniewa Dłubaka (English version), Kraków 2006
  • Jankowska M., Film artystów. Szkice z historii filmu plastycznego i ruchu fotomedialnego w Polsce w latach 1957-1981, Toruń 2002
  • Jerzy Rosołowicz 1928-1982: wystawa retrospektywna, red. E. Gorządek, B. Baworowska Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej, Zamek Ujazdowski, Warszawa 1995
  • Iwanowska-Ludwińska M., Jurek - szkice do portretu, Toruń 2002
  • Jurkiewicz Z., Przeciw sztuce, przeciw niesztuce, Wrocław 1971
  • Kępińska A., Nowa sztuka - sztuka polska w latach 1945- 1978, Warszawa 1981,
  • Konzept-Fotografie aus Polen, Berlin 2011
  • Kowalska B., Twórcy - postawy, Kraków 1981,
  • Lachowicz A., Sztuka i fotografia, "Nurt", 1976, nr 10
  • Lachowicz A., Perswazja wizualna i mentalna, PWSSP, Wrocław 1972.
  • Ludwiński J., Filling the blanks (Wypełniając puste pola), ed. P. Lisowski, K. Radomska, CSW 2010 Toruń
  • Morawski S., Konceptualizm obcy i rodzimy, "Projekt", 1975, nr 3
  • Musgrave V., A Visit to Poland, "Art Monthly", 1980, no 40.
  • Nader L., Konceptualizm w PRL, Warszawa 2009.
  • Nader L., Sympozjum Wrocław '70: przestrzeń "niemożliwego", "Dyskurs" 2005 nr 5
  • http://test.asp.wroc.pl/dyskurs/Dyskurs3/LuizaNader.pdf
  • Natalia LL, Texty, Bielsko Biała 2004
  • Notes From the Future of Art. Selected Writings of Jerzy Ludwiński, ed. M. Ziółkowska, Rotterdam 2007
  • Piotrowski P., Dekada. O syndromie lat siedemdziesiątych, kulturze artystycznej, krytyce, sztuce - wybiórczo i subiektywnie, Poznań 1991
  • Polish Photography 1939-1979, International Center of Photography, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 1979
  • Reconsidering the Object of Art 1965 - 1975, ed. A. Goldstein, A. Rorimer, Los Angeles 1995.
  • Robakowski J., Teksty interwencyjne 1970 - 1995, Koszalin 1995
  • Ronduda Ł., Sztuka polska lat 70. Awangarda, Warszawa 2009.
  • Ronduda Ł., Zdzisław Sosnowski - Instrumentalne użycia. Czyli jak skutecznie grać w sztukę w czasach PRL-u, "Piktogram" nr 4, 2006
  • Ronduda Ł., Soc Art - próba rewitalizacji strategii awangardowych w sztuce polskiej lat 70tych., Piktogram nr 1, Warszawa 2005
  • Siatka K., I can't get no satysfaction, "Artluk", 3(9)2008
  • Sobota A., Konceptualność fotografii, BWA Bielsko-Biała 2004
  • Sympozjum Wrocław '70, red. D. Dziedzic, Z. Makarewicz, Wrocław 1983
  • Nowe zjawiska w sztuce polskiej lat siedemdziesiątych. Teksty, koncepcje (red. J. Robakowski), Sopot 1981
  • Sztabiński G., Między naturą a kulturą. O "działaniach neutralnych" Jerzego Rosołowicza, w: Tegoż, Dlaczego geometria? Problemy współczesnej sztuki geometrycznej, Łódź 2004.
  • Wicherkiewicz M., Fotomedializm a fotografia. Miejsce fotografii w ramach nurtu fotomedialnego na wybranych przykładach ze sztuki polskiej, w: D. Jackiewicz (red.), Fotografia. Od dagerotypu do galerii Hybrydy. Materiały z sesji naukowej zorganizowanej przez Oddział Warszawski Stowarzyszenia Historyków Sztuki, Warszawa 2008.
  • Wojciechowski J.S., Konceptualizm stylistyki foto-medialnej, w: "Odra"1977 nr 6.
  • Wojciechowski J.S., Pokolenie. Sztuka. Postawy. Wybór tekstów 1973 - 1978, Galeria Remont, Warszawa 1978

Web pages:

Previous lectures

ACADEMIC YEAR 2010/11 - TWO. Twinning, pairing and doubling in the practice of contemporary art.

The experience of becoming a twosome: either pairing, placing one item after another or identifying and connecting a pair in the mind will be traced in the practice of contemporary art. I will not, however, follow any of the creation myths: neither the one told by Aristophanes in The Symposium by Plato about the lost unity followed by chopping the original whole man in two, nor the Biblical flood narrative about Noah`s Ark and pairs of animals that the righteous man took to his vessel. Instead, I will focus on amazing pairs (as in the Dead Owl diptych by Roni Horn) which are not rooted in any myths, parables or accounts. Thus a spectator, not haunted by any nostalgia, will be left on his own, without memories or reminiscences, and will have to gain his experience while directly engaging in a work of art. Perhaps such a procedure will not exempt his participation in an art work from hallucination (especially when looking in the hypnotic eyes of a stuffed owl from Iceland in the Dead Owl diptych) but will nevertheless broaden his horizons not burdened with a prior knowledge - he will be prompted to construct the meaning in a discovery process free of any authority. Thus pairing becomes an analytic practice and a technique to learn about the procedure of comprehending by correlating two of a kind.

Following Craig Owens`s ideas I will also treat an art work as an allegory and palimpsest. Because, according to his definition, an allegory occurs whenever one text is doubled by another and a description "accounts for both allegory`s origin in commentary and exegesis, as well as its continued affinity with them" (Owens 1989, p.68-69), the metatextual aspect of some works conceived by appropriation of images and works by other artists will be traced (apart from the appropriation, especially the strategy of re-enactment and update). Since an allegory is also a projection of structure as sequence (one after another), it involves time and misreading, which paradoxically both rescue past images from oblivion and liquidate them. Reading one image through another provides a model to a commentary subverting authoritative claim to meaning.

My case study is a work by Roni Horn, but I will also analyze the art of other artists: Felix Gonzales-Torres, Sherrie Levine, Peter Doig, Maria Jarema (Henryk Stażewski once remarked on her art that it was affected by a twin syndrome, as she herself had a twin sister) and the 2008 Bifurcations exposition inspired by sculptor Marek Kijewski`s idea and realized by his friends in the Centre of Contemporary Sculpture in Orońsko after his premature death as a homage to this eminent and underestimated Polish artist. Since 1995 Kijewski worked in a couple-team with Kocur (Małgorzata Malinowska) as an artistic duo, and this creative couplet is another track to follow...

Preliminary bibliography:

  1. Jorge Luis Borges, The Other (El oltro) - from his The Book of Sand
  2. Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Double: A Petersburg Poem
  3. L. Neri, L. Cooke. T. de Duve, Roni Horn, Phaidon Press Limited London 2000
  4. Branden W. Joseph , A Duplication Containing Duplications": Robert Rauschenberg's Split Screens, October, Vol. 95, (Winter, 2001), pp. 3-27
  5. Craig Owens, The Allegorical Impulse: Toward a Theory of Postmodernism, October, Vol. 12 (Spring, 1980), pp. 67-86
  6. Brendan Prendeville, Varying the Self: Bacon's Versions of van Gogh, Oxford Art Journal Vol. 27, No. 1 (2004), pp. 25-42
  7. Paul Ricoeur, Oneself as Another
  8. Victor Stoichita, Short Story of the Shadow

Previous lectures

SPRING SEMESTER 2010 - Two turning points in Polish art - consensual (1955) and agonistic (1989)

The first turning point in Polish art is connected with the death of Stalin in 1953 and the official withdrawal from the brute policy imposed on Polish citizens. The so-called "thaw"of 1955 was connected with a new compromise between the Communist establishment (run now by Władysław Gomułka, the new Communist party leader) and the society.

The second turning point was linked to the fall of the Soviet Union which changed the status of Poland from a Soviet satellite to an independent country. The decline of Communism empowered many suppressed and marginalized voices to finally sound loud.

My lectures will try to answer a question, what kind of narratives produced the greatness of the artist during Communist times and after the fall of the system. Apparently the new status quo of 1955 was consensual and authoritarian, because it was formally sanctioned by the Communist establishment as a visual proof of deep political changes, which in fact were not so far-reaching. A new cultural policy enabled modernism (banned as elitist and bourgeois from 1949) in Poland to re-emerge again. Communist establishment was interested in legitimating its power, but the price artists had to pay for this consensus was in fact enormous. Although it may seem a great relief that they were eventually allowed to paint abstract pictures and not workers and farmers in the social realism style, there were actually a lot of restrictions. New modern, abstract, tashist, informel pictures and peinture-matiere, parallel to similar pictures in Parisian galleries, ignored the Iron Curtain and Europe`s division into two political blocks. However, they were not supposed to suggest any relation with the outer world or disclose any actual context, but underscore its autonomous and elevated character. The high modernism far exceeded esthetic values, healing the trauma of Sovietisation and becoming a discourse of survival and compensation, enabling a group of chosen "geniuses" to speak in the name of others. Therefore, examining the paradigm shift of 1955 I will trace the mechanisms of exclusions and ask questions about artists who were not appreciated as "great" at that time. I am going to show how the criteria of taste were in fact political, connected with modernist idiom; they make the fame of such currently highly estimated artists as Jadwiga Maziarska or Andrzej Wróblewski quite impossible at that time. Fortunately, after the fall of Communism the new democratic power was not interested in proving its legal character by imposing any visual official language. The hegemony had irreversibly burst apart and in the new pluralistic world a true pluralistic agonism became possible. All were allowed to speak in their own name and that new and challenging situation entailed a lot of "scandals" and violations of "good" taste. It was a true potential for a new debate about democracy. For better or worse, artists became normal citizens again, leaving their roles of doctors of national pride aside. So, after 1989 we saw the appearance of many artists` statements focusing on their identity (especially gender), undermining universal discourse, revealing deep divisions in the society and publicly expressing their disagreement by interventions and direct actions. Of course, such strategies appeared much earlier, in the 1960s and 1970s, but were rather ignored as non-artistic.

Presumably the "thaw" consensus of 1955 discouraged a whole generation from participation in the cultural life because art was too strongly separated from contemporary life, its problems and visual elements, choosing the perfect isolation from the outer world and aiming at sublimation and elevation of beholders, in the end controlling much more than their taste. Thus, restoring political issues in art could be in fact a lesson of democracy and encouragement to treat art as an indispensable element of life.

FALL SEMESTER 2009 Production of artists' greatness within the consensus after the Stalinist thaw (1955)