Czy polska sztuka konceptualna ma płeć?
What Is The Gender Of Polish Conceptual Art?
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The essay was inspired by Pawel Dybel’s book The secret of the "other gender". Disputes around the sexual differences in psychoanalysis and feminism, in which he asked a question about the gender of logos. My – less ambitious – attempt was to try to describe the potential of gender in Polish conceptual art. The question is ahistorical, but there are a number of reasons to ask it. Many female artists that were very active during the time of conceptual incitation are invisible. Polish conceptualism which was formed be some artistic couples, historically has lost female faces. Some of these contributors – like Natalia LL or Ewa Partum – we can find out about in the discourse among first Polish feminist artists, but the question of women’s input into conceptualism is still open and does not attract enough interest of scholars. Maybe this is because of the fragile and delicate matter of an artistic partnership in contrast with the heroic notion of artistic individuality that is still attractive for conceptual artists. Maybe this is because of dangerous stereotypes about masculinity and femininity and male and female roles in artistic couples. There are very few scholars who are interested in examining the notion of collaboration in its very complex form. Much of the contemporary discourse on Polish conceptual art has been conveyed through exhibitions. This tactic may be seen as paying respect to the form of an exhibition – a specific, ideal medium to consider works of art not individually, but as they interact with each other. The specifics of conceptual works that were generally visually unattractive in the early seventies has changed, partly because of the most recent generation. The new face of Polish conceptualism is very conservative with regard to the lack of input by women. Unfortunately the belief popular among scholars and curators that women do not do ‘serious’ work still persist, but fortunately for those women artists who are active and visible – they found a useful label in the discourse. Placing them within the feminist movement, one should not forget their conceptual roots, and should delete the question as to whether their works were serious.
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