*1976, Poland, lives and works in Krakow, Poland
DZYDZILELYA / 2016 / costume
MORENA / 2016 / costume
DYDEK / PERKUN / 2016 / costume
PEPPERUGA / 2016 / costume
LELUM / 2016 / costume
WOLAS / 2016 / costume
all works courtesy of the artist and Fundacja Galerii Foksal, Warsaw
DISCRETION / 2019 / installation
PATCHWORK SEAMSTRESS IN UNKNOW DWELLING / 2019 / installation
DISCO OFELIA AND ELEUTER HOUSE (AFTER JAROSŁAV IWASZKIEWICZ) / 2019 / installation
BAKERS HOUSE ROBE AND CHATKA MALOLATKA / 2019 / installation
all works courtesy of the artist and Simon Lee Gallery, London
Paulina Ołowska’s many-sided practice is inspired by modernist utopias, American and Eastern European popular culture and notions of feminism, design and consumerism. She frequently references figures of the past and excavates often forgotten stories, aiming to understand a story’s intrinsic value from the contemporary and historical points of view. Apart from that, she explores the living and working conditions in remote rural environments.
Destroyed Woman is a project by Paulina Ołowska loosely inspired by three short stories “about decay and passion”, written by Simone de Beauvoir and published in 1967. Ołowska’s reinterpretation of de Beauvoir’s tales on aging, loneliness and love as experienced by female protagonists offers a new, contemporary perspective on the representation of women, and on women’s vulnerability. Destroyed Woman consists of a series of sculptures, developed in collaboration with fashion designer Michał Wisniewski, and based around the designer’s dresses, which have been first buried in the ground, then excavated, their petrified forms encased by a metal frame and crowned by a ceramic house, which takes the place of a mannequin’s head.
For Biennale Gherdëina 7, Paulina Ołowska presented a site-specific version of her acclaimed performance-cum-tableau vivant Slavic Goddesses and the Ushers, staged in the magical landscape of Pilat hill.
Having often addressed questions of feminism and cultural convention, Paola Orlowski revisits the work of Zofia Stryjeńska (1891–1976) exploring the visionary Polish artist’s notion of ballet as a “wreath of ceremonies,” and designing costumes after her 1918 painting series Bożki słowiańskie (Slavic deities). These surreal garments, with their enormous headdresses and their decorations of peacock feathers and wheat stalks, present fanciful figures from Slavic mythology and folklore: goddesses of mischief, prosperity, fate, spring, winter, and the skies, with “bodies of clay, hair of wheat or branches, thorns and thistle”. An original score by American artist Sergei Tcherepnin mixes cosmic sounds together with traditional Mazurkas, Polkas, and Oberkas, as well as “spiritual disco” and Val Gardena’s local musical tradition. Tcherepnin has decided to compose an electronic variation, an ethereal, site-specific soundscape, played through loudspeakers, a music for the Slavic goddesses to move and dance to.