TEXTILE AS TEXT: GENDER AND SOCIAL ISSUES IN POLISH TEXTILE ART a lecture by Agata Stronciwilk, PhD
May 18, 2023 at 7:15PM at Thomson Hall, Room 101, UW Campus
The lecture will be preceded by an official opening of the exhibit on May 18 at 6:30PM at the Allen Library North Lobby
Sewing, embroidery, and weaving have been stereotypically considered to be women’s activities, limited to domestic space. Contemporary Polish artists radically changed this notion with their revolutionary approach to textile art. The lecture will present disturbing, dark, and complex quasi-sculptural “abakans” by Magdalena Abakanowicz; Monika Drożyńska’s feminist rediscovery of embroidery and Małgorzata Mirga-Tas’ astonishing project at the Venice Biennale 2022, which attempted to decolonize the image of the Roma community. In each of those examples, the textile becomes a text – as it allows the artist to inscribe and re-write various identities, histories, and narratives. Weaving is understood not only as an artistic technique but as a metaphor for relational artistic practices – thin threads of art weave the patchwork social fabric.
Agata Stronciwilk is an art historian and cultural studies expert specializing in contemporary Polish art. In 2019 she received a PhD in cultural studies at the University of Silesia in Katowice, where she also graduated from Inter-faculty Individual Studies in Humanities, studying philosophy, art history, and culture. She is this year’s recipient of the Fulbright Slavic Award at the University of Washington.