Malgorzata Dawidek: Notations. Performance Art and Video Essays – Online exhibition

The questions Małgorzata Dawidek has placed at the heart of the exhibition Notations presented at the Centrala Gallery concern how the artistic tools of performance art, recording and video essay can be used to give expression to a body entrenched in a long-term crisis of health and, at the same time, avoid emotional blackmail in telling the story of an illness whilst building an empathetic message concerning the theme of corporeal feelings. How can the presentation of acute experiences which shape an individual’s identity be reconfigured in order to break the spell of myth and metaphor which sets the endurance of illness solely in a heroic, romantic, religious, therapeutic and biomedical context?

Watch the exhibition here

Watch an artist talk with Malgosia and an art historian Maki Fukuoka here

Book of Hours is a one-woman performance art work, based on somatic practices of a body critically overburdened in the personal sphere. A film miniature entitled obs is a notation of a choreography of the gaze, looking and sight. In the video-essay Bodygraphic Notations the artist leads spectators through her research into illness narratives, exploration of the first-person narrative form, and methods of working with the body and space. The issues Malgorzata Dawidek is tackling in her projects have become highly topical in the context of the current pandemic, which is bringing a new dimension to the concept of disease and affecting medical, social, cultural, educational, economic and political relations. This adjustment in logic within various fields of human activity and areas of study is not only giving rise to a shift in focus away from the familiar patterns of treating illness and towards the personal, everyday experiences of individuals, but is also motivating society to build a collective of care.

Małgorzata Dawidek – visual artist, writer and art historian (PhD). She is currently conducting PhD practice-led research at the Slade/UCL. Her artistic and academic interests cover the visual arts, literature and certain medical matters. Dawidek’s practice is focused on the conflict between the condition of the human body and discursive language. It addresses aspects of corporeality as a continuous narration, a text ‘in process’, which she describes as bodygraphy.  In her art Małgorzata combines a wide range of media encompassing performance, photographs, video, written drawings, textual objects and installations. She also researches visual literature and is the author of ‘A Piece of Poetry’ (2012), and ‘A History of Visual Text. Poland, post-1967’ (2012) awarded by the Polish National Culture Centre’s prize for the best PhD dissertation (2010).  The artist has been also awarded, inter alia, Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage grants (2002, 2004, 2020), Young Poland’ scholarship for young artists (2012), a Pollock-Krasner Foundation grant (2004-2005), British Federation of Women Graduates grant (2017-2018). Her works were selected for the Jerwood Drawing Prize in 2016 and awarded the Signature Art Prize in 2020.

Curator of the show: Marta Marsicka

This project is delivered thanks to Polish Ministry and Culture and National Heritage scholarship programme Kultura w sieci


Zrealizowano w ramach programu stypendialnego Ministra Kultury i Dziedzictwa Narodowego – Kultura w sieci.