Although Teresa Tyszkiewicz appears as a distinct and unique figure in Polish art of the late 20th century, her oeuvre has never been a subject of a comprehensive and in-depth analysis. The exhibition Teresa Tyszkiewicz: Day After Day is neither a classical monographic show nor a retrospective, for it abstains from producing a chronology in favor of creating an installation within which works from different periods of her over four-decade-long artistic career resonate with each-other and – despite their formal diversity – reveal the inner structure of Tyszkiewicz’s art. The exhibition shows the processuality and „organicity” inherent to Tyszkiewicz’s method bound up with her struggles with matter, body, and corporeality.
The oeuvre of Tyszkiewicz, radically subjective and intuitive, intertwines with life routines and in a pioneering way opens up the language of art to a reflection on femininity encompassing sensuality, erotism, and fragility as well as physiology, brutality, pain and force.
For-camera performances and photographs from the late 1970s and early 1980s were for Tyszkiewicz a way of developing a private mythology and at the same time as means of self-analytical research. The artist’s fascination with matter embodied in the form of grain, soil, feathers or cotton wool – sensual „immersion” in it, her wrapping herself up in materials belonging to the order of the Earth which are archetypically associated with femininity – results from the need to reaffirm the original relationship between the body and matter. The exhibition contrasts these private, sensual rituals with less known „pin-works” created in a laborious months-long process of pin-pricking paper, photographs, canvas or objects. It is a trance-like performance, involving the artist’s body in an action that entails a rhythmical cumulation of gesture and repetitiveness. For Tyszkiewicz, this expressive and brutal ritual became a way to manifest her relationship with the world, while pin-works provide a record of her everyday struggle and at the same time a way of building a personal space of expression.
The transition from wrapping herself with matter to pricking reality and inflicting pain, finding herself in an (auto)aggressive ritual produces dialectic tension which lies at the heart of Tyszkiewicz’s oeuvre. The sensual experience of femininity analyzed in for-camera performances is expanded to include an attempt to express her own condition through a painful, physical confrontation with matter.
The exhibition features nearly 80 works from the years 1980–2019, some of which have never been presented before. Especially for the Muzeum Sztuki exhibition, the artist edited her last never-shown-before film, ARTA (1984/ 2019). The films, photographs, assemblages, objects, paintings, and large-format pin-reliefs comprise a diverse but aesthetically coherent vocabulary of forms.
Teresa Tyszkiewicz: Day After Day
29.05-13.09.2020, ms2, ul. Ogrodowa 19
curator: Zofia Machnicka
exhibition coordinator: Katarzyna Mróz
printed material coordinator: Martyn Kramek
exhibition architecture: Jarosław Kozakiewicz
visual identity: Fontarte
author of the photography – Anna Zagrodzka