Raport nr 1 (Milan Loviška)

maj 1, 2012 w Milan Loviška, Rezydencje 2012, Tekst autorski, Warsztaty

Milan Loviška
2 maja 2012, Poznań, Polska

Minęło siedem miesięcy, od kiedy dostałem się do Międzynarodowego Programu Rezydencji Artystycznych, i moja rezydencja wreszcie się rozpoczęła. Po siedmiu długich miesiącach organizowania i szukania funduszy, w poniedziałek 9 kwietnia przyjechałem pociągiem z Wiednia do Poznania. Od pierwszego wejrzenia miasto zrobiło na mnie wrażenie. Nie mam pojęcia, czego się spodziewałem, ale na pewno nie tego (cokolwiek to jest). Od wielu Poznaniaków słyszałem, że chcieliby, aby miasto i budynki były czystsze i w lepszym stanie, ale uważam, że obecnie mają dużo więcej wdzięku i urody (jeśli pominąć fakt, że sporo z nich jest w

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Warsztaty: Gender and the Ideal

listopad 6, 2011 w Hannah Champion, Muzeum Narodowe w Poznaniu, Rezydencje 2011, Tekst autorski, Warsztaty

So I had my workshop in the National Museum of Poznań today. I thought it went well; there were some brilliant people there who really got passionate about the idea of women in culture and how femininity is represented in modern Poland. At first we looked at a selection of Soviet propaganda posters found in the Poster Department in the museum. We talked about how these posters may be seen and what image and representation they were trying to convey. We then went on to talk about Iris Marion Young and Augusto Boal, using their theories and exercises to explore the capacities and capabilities of our bodies. After the actions there was some fascinating debate- this subject is so broad and conflicting that it is impossible not to disagree- but I think that this makes it more exciting. I was hearing all about the lives of women of a similar age to myself, and how they grew up as women in Polish culture. I was really inspired by one woman who talked about how she felt respected by the people surrounding her. She didn’t feel as if she need to conform to any idea that they may have of her as a woman. However she did go on to say that she would be wary of calling herself a feminist as the word is quite a risky one to use in Poland. (As well as most other countries due to the connection with ‘bra burning, and man hating’) She went on to say however that if you describe your (feminist) opinions to people without using the dreaded word, then generally many people would agree. Using the word incites an instant dismissal of the valid point and expressed belief. It was so helpful meeting these people and hearing what they had to say about the subject. I hope that the women in my workshop got something out of today, even if it was just the feeling of solidarity and a positive outlook on what is sometimes quite a difficult subject. I would like to thank The National Museum of Poznań for giving me space to do this, as well as the Poster Department for inspiring me to develop my interest in posters and propaganda. It such a wonderful department, if you ever need any help in this area then I would very much recommend going there, they gave me such a help and laid out so many books for me to read that seemed tailor- made for what I was thinking about.

jeden

listopad 4, 2011 w Hannah Champion, Rezydencje 2011, Tekst autorski

So it all begins with this picture. It was the first thing I saw when I entered into Poland and I think it sums me up pretty well. I am a visual artist and philosopher from Dundee in Scotland. My work is concerned with how women are represented in culture and social media, the disciplinary body, consumerism and cake. This is the first time I have ever been to Poland. When I saw this sign waving at me at the terminal gates I felt instantly welcomed. “I thought you would be a cookie monster”, Roksana said to me with a grin. We drove into Poznań past a mixture of lego brick houses, stern monuments and older buildings with crumbling exteriors. I had been awake since 4am so I was feeling pretty bleary. The M-pra girls took me to breakfast -which perked me up and unstuck my eyes- and I began to take in my surroundings. After a plate of sunny eggs and a lively coffee I wandered around the city for hours. I made friends with the doorman of my building. He doesn’t speak any English and my Polish ends at ‘Hello’ and ‘small pig’.

I ask him for my key with a lot of smiling and waving. He shouts at me when I don’t understand, getting louder and louder as if he was a stereotypical tourist. Then we both laugh and laugh and he gives me the key. It’s a nice relationship we’ve got going. On my first evening Roksana took me out for another walk. The city smelled of rusted leaves and smoke. A dog barked and she told me she liked the sound. We came to the Cathedral and slid through doors with handles shaped like fish. A disembodied voice bounced off tall pillars. A solid tone, words like salted, chewy caramel murmuring Catholic prayer. Old words, known words. The building spoke to us and we trod on ancient flagstones. Over the faces of kings. She told me about the bridge that we walked over. When it was opened they brought elephants and other animals from the zoo. They made them walk over the bridge all day so that the people would trust it. The elephant bridge stood solid in the chocolate orange air. She remembered the English for ‘smog’ and I laughed into my scarf. My new home is near the old Market Square. Outside my house is a flower market filled with huge pumpkins, nobbly courgettes and candles for All Saints Day.

I have never experienced All Saints day before. On my second day I joined in with the general feeling of reflection. Candles and flowers were strewn over the almost empty market stalls. I pushed through a silver vein of spiders web that shone in the November sun. I retraced my steps from last night towards the military cemetery. Everything was yellow; mounds of crispy leaves crunched.

Children ran through them flailing and kicking with rosy apple cheeks. Golden leaves rained down from the trees and women held bunches of them in their hands, twisting the stalks and twirling them in circles.

Two nuns walked past me with hands behind their backs and wrinkled cheeks. One smiled at me and I was aware of the holes in my tights and the length of my skirt. A boy shuffled through a pile of leaves and his sister laughed from a pram. She had leaves in her hands and her body was twisted right round to see what he was doing. She had blonde hair and he had a stripy hat. It made me happy. I have become very taken with the idea of ‘Babkas’. Babka translates as ‘grandmother’ and is a traditional Polish cake. It is shaped to look like swirling

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skirts. I am hoping to learn how to make Babkas with Roksana’s grandmother. I am also hoping to find a skirt to swirl in. On my third day I went to Poznań museum. There were so many paintings I felt a bit dizzy by the end and there was a huge activity room that looked like great fun. There was also a lot of flesh on display. Got very into Alfred Wisniewski, Franciszek Jaźwiecki and Wojciech Weiss. On my fourth and fifth day I spent my mornings in the poster department in Poznań museum with Karolina and Barbara. They pulled out so many books for me to look at and I found so many pictures that I wanted to work with that I was almost embarrassed when I was telling her how much I wanted to photocopy. Posters are so fascinating- to hold such a strong ideology, such a gut- punching message on a 2D piece of paper. Reading Susan Sontag: “Posters: Advertisement, Art, Political Artifact, Commodity”. I am hoping that this will open up a new flow of thought for me in my work.