Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Polish Joana Vasconcelos

Julita Wójcik, Peeling Potatoes (Zachęta Polish National Gallery, 2001)

I think now is a good time in art for women, and for folklore. What is being underlined are small, intimate human gatherings. A niche culture appeared, created for a very small group of viewers, almost for oneself. I mean internet galleries and the possibility for anyone to create his own page.

(...) But you leave this niche.

I am a simple girl and feel no need to pretend, to pose as someone else. Making art I'm not doing anything different than any person on any given day. I don't want the spectators to reflect on anything for even a second: it is all already given [literally: "served" - Vvoi]. The more realism, the better. A full naturalism, that's the way I am, simply Julita Wójcik.
Oh, if you follow the link in her name, I think you will agree with me that it is very far from a "full naturalism" or, even more, "realism" (and she doesn't want us to reflect on it? pl-lease!). It is a type of visual poetics we can find in the Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos, playing with the traditional, the simple, the everyday, and giving it new meanings, "elevating it" to the statute of high art - or rather, as I imagine Wójcik would prefer, elevating the so-called "high-art" to the level of true human, intimate creation.
But it's tricky, being simple. Because, whether you like it or not, whether you admit it or not, as an (public) artist you're on a stage. And that changes a lot:

And that, my dear friends, is why I like Peeling Potatoes.

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