2018
> Masken
Tomasz Kulka / Das Ding
> Natalia LL

2017
> Renate Bertlmann
#It´s You too / Renate Bertlmann
> Anouk Lamm Anouk / I miss the place where I am from
> EASE / Robert Barry / Günther Förg / Tony Oursler / Keith Sonnier
> Artissima / VIVACE with Renate Bertlmann, Natalia LL and Jana Sterbak
> Curated by Eva Fabbris / LIVE END DREAM NO
> everybody anybody / group show
> liquid democracy / Monika Piorkowska, Curated by Angela Stief
> KeramiK Curated by Dietgard Grimmer with Jessica Lajard Barbara Reisinger Jeanne Susplugas Elmar Trenkwalder Gerold Tusch

2016
> Sébastien de Ganay / Non Places
> Clemens Wolf / Grounded
> Curated by / Michel Blancsubé / I´ve decided to be happy because it´s good for one´s health / Jana Sterbak
> Olga Georgieva / Looking for score
> Gudrun Kampl / Ornament oder Verbrechen
> Dieter Roth / aus einer Sammlung Exil, Selbstbildnis, Speedy-Drawing, Taschenzimmer
> VIVACE / Renate Bertlmann, Gloria Friedmann, Natalia LL, Jana Sterbak

2015
> Curated by / Myriam Ben Salah, Like The Deserts Miss The Real, Sarah Abu Abdallah, Abdullah Al Mutairi, Marwa Arsanios , Gcc, Raja’a Khalid
> Larbi Cherkaoui
> Julius Deutschbauer Klaus Pobitzer / Habs-Burgerstand, Ein Prä-Resümee
> Ilse Haider / le circuit heroesque
> Matthias Herrmann / On Photography
> Verortungen / Alyce Aycock, Peter Hopkins, Tania Kitchell, Ken Lum, Paul Morrison , Georges Rousse, Michaela Spiegel, Clemens Wolf

2014
> Gudrun Kampl / Value Love Word Cell
> Curated by / Peter Stastny / Good NIght, Mister Procrustes / Francis Alÿs, Zipora Fried, Jim Shaw, Katrin Sigurdardottir, Kiki Smith, Jana Sterbak, Jeanne Susplugas
> Olga Georgieva / Invisible Beijing
> Papier / Alan Davie, Günther Förg, Oswald Oberhuber, Tony Oursler, Peter Weibel
> Over Again Forever / Sébastien de Ganay
> Michaela Spiegel / Standbilder
> Emmanuel Régent / Pendant qu´il fait encore jour

BEFORE


NATALIA LL

Intimate photography

Vernissage / Opening
6. März 2018, 19 Uhr


Ausstellungsdauer / Exhibition duration
7.  März bis 18. april 2018

 

 

Post-Consumer Art / Sztuka post-konsumpcyjna, 1975 - 2010, black & white photography, 100 x 129 cm, Ed.1/3 + 2 AP
Topologia Ciała / Body Topology 1/3, 1967 - 2013, black & whte photography, 90 50 cm, Ed.1/3 + 2 AP
Rima (detail), 1968-1969, 9 pieces, pastel on paper, 41 x 30 cm each

 

 

Natalia LL is a legend of the Polish neo-avantgarde, an artist of a very clear stance, still active and tackling social and political matters stemming from the tradition of conceptualism. In the 1970s, she belonged to the group of forerunners of performance, experimental film, video, dealing also with photography, installation and sculpture. In 1970, she founded the Wroclaw-based artistic group and gallery Permafo. The artist living in Poland was recognized by foreign feminist critique already in the mid-1970s, and her work Consumer Art (1972-75) was reproduced in the posters for Frauen Kunst — Neue Tendenzen in Innsbruck in 1975, and on the cover of Flash Art in 1976. Her artistic stance and engagement earned the artist from behind the iron curtain invitations to exhibitions and conferences in Europe and the USA. She established close friendships with Valie Export and Carolee Schneemann, among others. In Poland, the artist tried with little success to implement the ideas encountered during her trips, facing ideological and moral censorship. Yet, in the course of time and owing to international renown and persistence, her works entered not only nearly all museum collections in Poland, but also many worldwide – Centre Pompidou in Paris, International Center of Photography in New York, or the collection of Art from Central and Eastern Europe of the Museum of Modern Art in Ljubljana. Following the transition of 1989, her oeuvre calls for a presentation to a broader circle of art collectors worldwide.

Natalia LL’s work has invited many feminist interpretations, which underlined the presence of the problems of sexuality and eroticism contradicting the status quo of social and cultural patriarchal structures. The artist’s works from the 1970s feature the themes of confrontation with male viewer, objection to ”phallic structures” and the issues of shaping female identity against tradition by means of taking over social, cultural and political activity – represented by the image of a woman who takes the sway and active position in eroticism. In the 1970s in Poland, it was significant not only from the individual perspective, but also the social and the political. The visualisation of satisfying sexual needs by a woman and equal rights in the domain of sex were received as somewhat of pornography, with the artist’s exhibitions censored and no public displays allowed. The art of Natalia LL became a political tool, an instrument of fight for equal rights, defining identity on the basis of consciousness-related look upon oneself. The photographs documenting a sexual intercourse that form the work entitled Intimate Sphere (1969) are a result of fascination with the carnal and the potential of human sexuality. They can be regarded as a penetration of the intimate sphere and exhibitionist acts of courage, which breach the moral schemes of the Polish society of the turn of the 1960s and 70s. At the same time, they became a link with the sexual revolution taking course in the countries of democratic Western Europe and the USA. In 1974 the artist composed of those photos the inscription: NATALIA IST SEX. However, the fascination with intimacy and sexuality thorugh an act of provocation against ubiquitous censorship gains the dimension of a question about the identity and conscious existence of citizens in a totalitarian system. This declaration – from a woman in the 1970s in Poland publically admitting gaining control over the sphere of sexual activity is to be interpreted in the political categories as an act of an utmost significance for the future of revolutionary movements of the 1970s and 80s in Poland. A woman aware of her sexuality, beauty, and the power stemming from them breached the standards of social composition based on subordination of women. Sexuality of the 1970s in Poland (as opposed to democratic countries) did not function in the public sphere. Its appearance breached not only the social foundations, but also the political basis.

Natalia LL, aware of her potential and the necessity to analyse her subjectivity, embarked on research in the artistic sphere and in the real world at the same time, introducing within the boundaries of an image her individual body and visualising the themes of human condition. Exposing the intimate sphere came as an effect of profound feminist awareness, where the centre of attention was always the human figure – actually the artist herself. In the work entitled Artificial Reality (films and photographs 1975-76), the author analyses her
location in the area of the everyday fluently intertwining with art. In the work Animal Art (1977), Natalia LL presents herself in subsequent photographs with her face covered by sunglasses and her body in furs. The artist is in an apartment, she hugs the fluffy fabric, only sometimes uncovering her head, legs and hips. In the works of Natalia LL, fur is not only a fetish that she needs to seduce and subordinate men. In the reality of the Polish 1970s, fur was also a symbol of power and possession of material goods, unavailable for an ordinary citizen. It was also associated with subordinating a woman, regarded as a mistress. Following further the thread of the iconography of attire in the 1970s, ”silver fox” furs were reserved for hotel prostitutes. Finally, fur is a metaphor of power that man has possessed over the world of animals, interpreted today as the artist’s voice in the matters of ecology in favour of protecting the natural resources of contemporary civilisation The artistic stance of Natalia LL and her works being a clear manifestation of female self-awareness, as well as her
presence on the international scene of the 1970s were somewhat of a link between the reality of the communist state, where equal rights were still a myth kept up by the authorities, and the reality of democratic states, which were already witnessing the second wave of feminism. The works of Natalia LL were not unambiguous, with the artist often distancing herself from feminist ideology, and their tone is still surprisingly current, which proves that she always tackled the right social and political threads.

Text by Agnieszka Rayzacher / lokal_30
Unless otherwise noted, all images copyright © Natalia LL & lokal_30
in cooperation with Agnieszka Rayzacher / lokal_30