Women's Center for Creative Work, Los Angeles
May 20, 2016
Against the Grain features a selection of experimental films by Polish women artists, 1970’s - present, from the Warsaw’s Museum of Modern Art’s Filmoteka archive. Employing the medium of film as a tool for self-expression and experimentation, polish women artists working during the 1970’s established a fruitful ground for diverse ideas within artistic practices. Often times approaching film from the perspective of a sculptor, painter or photographer, and collapsing various visual mediums with happenings, performance, and public interventions, they sought to challenge the false reality represented in film and critique its subjective communication while developing their own language in structural cinema.
Art historian Dr. Izabela Kowalczyk argued, in a 1997 paper titled, Feminist motifs in Polish art that feminist artists in Poland failed to accurately respond to women's issues during its oppressive regime, and instead borrowed already existing models developed by feminist artists working in the West. The screening sets this statement up for a debate by featuring women artists whose work represents a particular momentum in the experimental and independent art filmmaking in Poland. The selected films offer a unique insight into the shifting ideologies, structures, and methods of working and communicating within early Polish feminism, its revival in the 1990’s, conceptualism and the structural cinema model.
Against the Grain features works by Zofia Kulik, of group KwieKulik, Iwona Lemke-Konart, Natalia LL, Jolanta Marcolla, Ewa Partum and Jadwiga Singer as well as contemporary artists, Aneta Grzeszykowska, Katarzyna Kozyra and Agnieszka Polska. A discussion on feminism during socialism and the magic of experimental film will follow with scholars dr. Aniko Imre and dr. Eve Oishi.
The evening will end with a participatory artwork as a performance, Open Form, Continued, directed by artists Kim Schoen, Lucy Cook and presenting Ania Diakoff.
Films courtesy Fimoteka, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.