“Masculine Feminine Neuter” exhibition | Poznańska 37 Tenement House | 2021

 

Beata Konarska presents a selection of paintings that, in her opinion, fit the character of the tenement building, somehow relate to or complement its history. Moving into Poznańska 37 with her painting studio, the artist became interested in the history of the tenement. A painting inspired by Białoszewski’s “stove” was created, which, as one of many, is an element of the exhibition.

I feel very honored to have the opportunity to create and exhibit my works in a space through which the artistic and cultural environment of post-war Warsaw passed – in a place that has been inscribed in Polish poetry.

Białoszewski’s poem “Oh, if only they took the stove…” has a very strong resonance for me. The author so suggestively described the loss of the stove, which he did not actually lose. In this poem, the transience and physicality of this state are captured. For me, it is also a record of a strong sense of the energy of objects and places, which sometimes have the power to transport us into different dimensions. When I pass by this stove from Białoszewski’s apartment, going to the studio, I feel its energy under my skin, and I know that I did not end up here by accident.

June is “Pride Month,” and I would like to thematically engage in this narrative, primarily inscribed in the history of Miron Białoszewski himself. Pride, acceptance, and freedom in expressing one’s self fall under this theme, opposite to shame and social exclusion.

While living in this tenement, Białoszewski was in a relationship with the artist Leszek Soliński, who illegally, without a Warsaw registration, lived in his sublet half of the room on the second floor. When the matter was revealed, Białoszewski was expected to deny this relationship. In the Stalinist era, admitting to a homosexual relationship was an act of courage. Białoszewski did not deny it, which directly led to the poet’s dismissal from the “Świat Młodych” editorial office. Times of poverty came to the apartment on the 2nd floor, which led to the concept of dismantling the stove and selling the tiles. However, this idea was never implemented.

The thematic key of the selected paintings for the exhibition is my fascination with non-binary, fluidity, the interpenetration of what is feminine and masculine. From the very beginning of my artistic journey, I have been interested in issues related to “otherness” in terms of uniqueness, non-conformity to ready-made patterns, also within the scope of identity. I am fascinated and inspired by people who can express their identity in an unconstrained way. Loving both the feminine anima and the masculine animus gives a sense of complete integrity. Each person has their internal genetic, psychophysical conditions, instincts, and needs. Perhaps the most basic of these is the need to be oneself and the possibility of natural expression of one’s “self.” Suppressing oneself is living in prison. The socio-political-religious paradigm of a binary division into exclusively male and female drives many people into such prisons, and Poland – according to research – is the most homophobic country in the EU.

•••

 

“Behind the Stove.”

Janusz Noniewicz

 

And behind the stove, above the stove, and behind the stove, on the stove-like extension – paintings by Beata Konarska. In them, Konarska seeks repeatable, schematized forms of our imagination and brings them to light. Precisely on canvas. She mostly paints her pictures from what has already been expressed. What has been seen and remembered. These are images of petrified imagination that become formulas, schematics of our perception of the world. Imagination and the understanding of the world have a collective character. It contains a common code for perceiving the world. These schemes don’t come from nowhere. They arise from the transmission of specific images to one another. We communicate using them. We share them, thus transmitting information and solidifying the schemes. We forget about the image right after sharing it. What remains in us are shreds of information and an imprinted contour that will serve us to recognize and interpret other, subsequent, new images. Konarska reconstructs these schemes. She makes us look at our ways of looking. She blurs details, ornaments, trifles. In a sense, she also blurs what is individual and unique. What, for a moment, seemed to be the essence of information flowing from the image. What remains are contours, a pattern that can be replicated, and that we unintentionally replicate. But thanks to this, we can communicate, understand, and be understood. And that’s not insignificant. Konarska’s art is based on understanding and allows for understanding each other. The artist does not reveal secret knowledge to us. She rather says: you and I saw the same thing, we looked at the same images, and our thinking was shaped by the same and identical schemes. I don’t have to explain anything to you, and you don’t have to explain anything to me. This is the beginning of a conversation based on understanding.

 

Media patrons:

K MAG Magazine

BOSSQUE Magazine

USTA Magazine

LABEL Magazine about the exhibition: >>

The exhibition is located in the courtyard of the tenement house and in the studio.

Warsaw, 37 Poznańska Street

 

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Miron Białoszewski

Ach gdyby nawet piec zabrali…

Moja niewyczerpana oda do radości

 

Mam piec

podobny do bramy triumfalnej!

 

Zabierają mi piec

podobny do bramy triumfalnej!

Oddajcie mi piec

podobny do bramy triumfalnej!

Zabrali.

 

Została po nim tylko

szara

naga

jama

szara naga jama.

I to mi wystarczy:

szara naga jama

szara naga jama

sza-ra- na-ga- ja-ma

szaranagajama.