September 8, 2018 - Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art - Ania Nowak: Can You Die of a Broken Heart?
September 8, 2018

Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art

Ania Nowak, Can You Die of a Broken Heart? (still), 2018. Video-performance. Courtesy of the artist and the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art.

Ania Nowak
Can You Die of a Broken Heart?
August 30–October 7, 2018

Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art
2 Jazdów Street
00-467 Warsaw
Poland
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 12–7pm,
Thursday 12–9pm

T +48 22 628 12 71
info@u-jazdowski.pl

u-jazdowski.pl
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Takotsubo syndrome, or stress cardiomyopathy, is an acute heart failure caused probably by a strong emotional factor such as death of a loved one or ending a relationship. Although medical science is not sure of the etiology of “broken heart syndrome,” the condition indicates the generally neglected interrelation between mental and physical health. This also applies to increasingly frequent incurable autoimmune diseases in which the immune system produces antibodies that attack our own cells and tissues. There are also medical conditions such as fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome (mostly affecting women), the causes of which are still unknown. Can the contemporary suffering of individual bodies be viewed as an embodied collective reaction to life in late capitalism?

Can You Die of a Broken Heart? is Ania Nowak reflecting on the complicated relationships between the body, mind and environment. The artist is interested in the disease as a state in which the border between the norm and pathology is constantly being negotiated, and the identity of the patients themselves becomes inflamed. The language used to describe the horror of the body is crucial here. It may be sterile or repugnant, mediating between individual experiences and symptoms codified by medicine. Nowak also investigates the relationship between illness and time in sudden dysfunctions and chronic diseases, as defined by the dynamics of the relapse and remission, as chronic as is the contemporary crisis.

Nowak's project is a fantasy about a tropical landscape stricken with a fever of unknown origin. It consists of a video performance recorded at the Botanical Garden of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Powsin, and a performance that will be presented in the Project Room on September 1. The exhibition will be host to two Agapornis parrots, which will be looked after over the entire duration of the project by Agnieszka Kłos, one of the employees of U–jazdowski. These birds, commonly known as lovebirds, are famous for their long-lasting monogamous relationships. Contrary to popular opinion, after the death of one of the partners, the other does not die of longing and can start a new relationship with another lovebird.

Ania Nowak lives and works in Berlin. Her choreographic practice approaches vulnerability and desire as ways towards reimagining what bodies and language can do. She researches love as a strategy of generating knowledge with a focus on affective economies of care and companionship, and redefining sensuality. Her works have been presented at Sophiensaele and Akademie der Künste in Berlin; Nowy Teatr, Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art and Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw; Art Stations Foundation in Poznań; National Center of Dance in Bucharest; Arts Santa Mònica in Barcelona and Kulturhuset in Stockholm. Nowak graduated from “Dance/Context/Choreography at HZT Berlin. Artist website 

Project Room at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art is a program dedicated to young artists. From among six projects presented this year, the international jury will select two exhibitions and award them a 1st Prize of PLN 20,000 and 2nd Prize of PLN 10,000. The winners will be announced in January 2019.

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