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Teresa Tyszkiewicz: Day After Day
Museum of Art in Łódź, Łódź, Poland
20. March 2020 - 21. May 2020

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curator: Zofia Machnicka


Although Teresa Tyszkiewicz was seen as a distinct and very specific personality in Polish art of the late 20th century, her oeuvre has never been a subject of a comprehensive and in-depth analysis. The exhibition “Teresa Tyszkiewicz: Day After Day” is neither a classical monograph nor a retrospective since it sacrifices chronology to focus on an installation within which works from different periods of over 40 years of her artistic career resonate with one another and – despite being formally diverse – reveal the internal structure of her art. The exhibition shows the processuality and “limitations” inherent to Tyszkiewicz’s method resulting from how she was coping with the matter, body, and carnality.

The oeuvre of Tyszkiewicz, radically subjective and intuitive, intertwines with life routines and in a precursory way opens up the language of art to the reflection on femininity that encapsulates sensuality, erotism, and fragility as well as physiology, brutality, pain and power.

For-camera performances and photographs from the late 1970s and early 1980s were used by Tyszkiewicz to develop her private mythology but also served as a self-analysis research tool.  The artist’s fascination with organic matter embodied in the form of grain, soil, feathers or cotton wool – sensual “immersion” in it, wrapping up in what belongs to the order of the Earth and is archetypally bound with femininity - results from the need to reaffirm the original relationship between a body and organic matter.  The exhibition juxtaposes these private, sensual rituals with less known “pin-paintings” created in a long process often lasting for many months and consisting in sticking pins into paper, photographs, canvas or objects. It is a trance-like performance that engages the artist’s body into action based on the rhythmical cumulation of gesture and repetitiveness. To Tyszkiewicz this expressive and brutal ritual became a way to express her relationship with the world while pin-paintings turned into records of her everyday struggle and ways of building up her personal space of expression.  

The transition from wrapping up in organic matter to pricking the reality and inflicting pain, finding oneself in an (auto)aggressive ritual produces dialectic tension which lies at the heart of Tyszkiewicz oeuvre. Sensual experiencing femininity investigated in for-camera performances becomes expanded with an attempt to express her own condition through painful, physical experiencing the organic matter and coping with it.

The exhibition brings together almost 80 works created in the period 1980–2019, most of them have never been presented before. With this exhibition in mind, the artist edited her last film, never shown before, ARTA (1984-85 / 2019). Films, photographs, assemblages, objects, paintings, and large-format pinned reliefs provide a diverse but aesthetically coherent vocabulary of forms.

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