June 15, 2006 - Wyspa Institute of Art - Ewa Partum: The Legality of Space
June 15, 2006

Ewa Partum: The Legality of Space

Ewa Partum:
The Legality of Space

Exhibition-Publication-Workshop-Panel Discussion

Wyspa Institute of Art / Wyspa Progress Foundation


ul. Doki 1, Building 145B
80-958 Gdansk
Gdansk Shipyard Premises
June 17th-August 15th 2006
Opening: June 17th, 7 pm
Curator: Aneta Szylak
Performance workshop curator: Berenika Partum

The Legality of Space is planned to be a non-typical, synchronic retrospective of the work of Ewa Partum the eminent Polish early conceptual and feminist artist, whose career started in 1965. The project speaks from todays perspective on the creative output of this legendary figure who left Poland in the 1980s and, on the invitation of Wolf Vostell, settled in Berlin. Her achievements still remain not sufficiently examined in the critical reflection on conceptual art in this country and not significantly represented in Polish art collections. The aim of the exhibition, publication, workshop and panel discussion is to undermine the historically fragmented rhythm in the reception of her oeuvre and to reconstruct the most important, original and innovative themes in her art. In parallel, due to the specific nature of the subject, the project is targeted toward the issue of the documentation of ephemeral art and it asks about the role of recording and re-enactment and reaches for the archival to broaden the field of reception of Ewa Partums art.

The project title originates from the conceptual installation made by Partum in 1971 at Plac Wolnosci (Freedom Square) in Lodz. The phrase is also being turned into a conceptual tool intended to ask the question about the role of a female artist and a woman in the public discourse from the 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 order to achieve this, the exhibition will feature several documentary recordings of her performances and direct speeches by the artist 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 a newly developed project, showing a significant shift in the artists area of interest piercing criticism of economics and politics as well as institutional critique.

From the impressive output of the artist, additional materials connected with her creativity have been chosen which define the presence of a woman in the public space and outline the artists personal space. The exhibition at Wyspa Institute of Art puts on display the most important areas of Partums art and the specific relations between those spheres. It will generate contextual relations both with conceptual tradition and its musealisation as well as the specific location at Gdansk Shipyard. The exhibition also leaves behind the walls of Wyspa and encroaches into the public space to confront her historic works with the new cultural and political reality. New senses generated through this endeavour will stimulate new perspectives in observing this still incredibly contemporary work work that asks essential questions.

The exhibition is accompanied by a workshop for young performance artists “Reproducing the past” at Modelarnia, run by the artists daughter, art historian Berenika Partum. The workshop will analyse and re-enact early performances by Ewa Partum and extrapolate them into the new artistic, political and architectural context. For some part of the workshop the artist will be present. The new versions of performances will be presented to the public and documented on video and in photographs.

The book, Ewa Partum, edited by Aneta Szylak, including texts by the curator and Dorota Monkiewicz, Prof. Grzegorz Dziamski, Prof. Andrzej Turowski, _ukasz Ronduda and Angelika Stepken, will be published during the exhibition. The role of the book is to bring together the variety of positions in looking at and interpreting the art of Ewa Partum, to deliver precise information on her output, especially its chronology and to problematise the specific themes of her art. The publication is being prepared, co-published and distributed in collaboration with Revolver Archiv für aktuelle Kunst in Frankfurt.

Organisation: Wyspa Progress Foundation, Büro Kopernikus, Foundation Signum and Badischer Kunstverein in Karlsruhe.

Wyspa Progress Foundation is a non-profit non-governmental public charity organisation entered in the National Court Register under number 000063731.

Wyspa Institute of Art / Wyspa Progress Foundation

Wyspa Institute of Art
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