BWA Warszawa
BWA Warszawa
"It hurts when I laugh"
05.07.2019 - 14.09.2019
Martyna Czech, Leszek Knaflewski "We have nothing in common"
25.05.2019 - 30.06.2019
FOAF 2019: BWA Warszawa hosting Gianni Manhattan (Vienna) + Kristina Kite (LA)
06.04.2019 - 11.05.2019
Witek Orski "I would prefer not to talk about this"
14.02.2019 - 30.03.2019
Between Salvation and Constitution
11.11.2018 - 05.01.2019
WGW 2018: Agnieszka Brzeżańska, Jan Dobkowski, Zuza Krajewska "Goddesses"
21.09.2018 - 27.10.2018
Jadwiga Sawicka "Protest Reflex" BWA Warszawa
23.06.2018 - 31.07.2018
Ewa Ciepielewska "Emotional Support Animals"
12.05.2018 - 16.06.2018
FOAF: Jiří Thýn, Piotr Makowski, Witek Orski, "Line"
07.04.2018 - 28.04.2018
Adam Adach "Demos and Demons"
03.03.2018 - 04.04.2018
Agnieszka Kalinowska "Heavy Water"
27.01.2018 - 28.02.2018
WGW 2017: Yann Gerstberger, Sławomir Pawszak, Hanna Rechowicz "The Uses of Enchantment"
22.09.2017 - 25.11.2017
WGW2017: WYKWITEX
22.09.2017 - 24.09.2017
"Living in a Material World" Paweł Dudziak, Adrian Kolerski, Michał Sroka, Eliasz Styrna, Katarzyna Szymkiewicz
02.09.2017 - 16.09.2017
Małgorzata Szymankiewicz "Stretching of Concepts"
27.05.2017 - 29.07.2017
Ruben Montini "One Person Protest"
27.05.2017 - 27.05.2017
Wielka 19 Gallery
04.03.2017 - 06.05.2017
THE DYNAMICS OF DECLINE
28.01.2017 - 25.02.2017
Witek Orski & Maria Toboła "Spinning sex"
17.12.2016 - 14.01.2017
WGW 2016: Karol Radziszewski "Ali"
23.09.2016 - 19.11.2016
Small Sculptural Forms
19.06.2016 - 10.09.2016
Sławomir Pawszak "Heat"
12.03.2016 - 28.05.2016
Krzysztof Maniak "Snow Is What Comes To Mind"
06.02.2016 - 05.03.2016
Lada Nakonechna, Zhanna Kadyrova "Experiments"
05.12.2015 - 30.01.2016
WGW 2015: Ewa Axelrad "Minimum, Necessary, Objectively Reasonable"
25.09.2015 - 21.11.2015
Małgorzata Szymankiewicz "Postproduction"
26.06.2015 - 12.09.2015
Joanna Janiak, Piotr C. Kowalski "The Nature of Things"
25.04.2015 - 13.06.2015
Iza Tarasewicz "Reverse Logistics"
14.02.2015 - 19.04.2015
Karol Radziszewski "In the Shadow of the Flame"
29.11.2014 - 04.02.2015
WGW: Olga Mokrzycka-Grospierre, Nicolas Grospierre "A Glass Shard in the Eye"
26.09.2014 - 22.11.2014
Jadwiga Sawicka "Fragments of Stories"
24.05.2014 - 24.07.2014
Jakub Woynarowski "Saturnia Regna"
15.03.2014 - 17.05.2014
Sławomir Pawszak „Cannabis, whisky, ananas”
11.01.2014 - 08.03.2014
The Gardens. Laura Kaminskaite, Augustas Serapinas
23.11.2013 - 19.12.2013
Agnieszka Kalinowska "Eastern Wall"
27.09.2013 - 16.11.2013
Zuza Krajewska "Solstice"
29.06.2013 - 14.09.2013
WITHERED, Kisterem Gallery, Budapest
21.06.2013 - 15.08.2013
LITTLE WARSAW "Enter"
25.04.2013 - 21.06.2013
“Warsaw: The Day After..." Vartai Gallery, Vilnius
11.04.2013 - 11.05.2013
Self-Organization, vol.2: New Roman
23.03.2013 - 20.04.2013
Ewa Axelrad "Warm Leatherette"
26.01.2013 - 20.03.2013
Self-Organization, vol. 1. Certainty
05.01.2013 - 19.01.2013
Ziemilski / Marriott / The End of the World
21.12.2012 - 21.12.2012
Kama Sokolnicka "Rusty elements of our garden"
28.09.2012 - 30.11.2012
"ALPHAVILLE" Griffin Artspace, Warsaw
28.09.2012 - 30.12.2012
Krystian TRUTH Czaplicki "The Changeling"
21.07.2012 - 09.08.2012
Adam Adach "Reprezentacja"
21.04.2012 - 07.07.2012
Małgorzata Szymankiewicz, Przemek Dzienis "Sub Pop"
25.02.2012 - 14.04.2012
Nicolas Grospierre "The Bank"
03.12.2011 - 11.02.2012
Tribute To Fangor
05.11.2011 - 20.11.2011
"New Order", Art Stations, Poznań
29.09.2011 - 09.02.2012
Wojtek Ziemilski "New Order" performance
23.09.2011 - 24.09.2011
Agnieszka Kalinowska „Extinguished Neon Signs”
10.09.2011 - 30.10.2011
Jarosław Fliciński "Nobody Knows That For Sure"
25.06.2011 - 28.08.2011
THE OPENING "Plundering the Ruins of Reality"
07.05.2011 - 11.06.2011

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english version
Jadwiga Sawicka "Protest Reflex"

opening: 23.06.2018, 7 p.m.

We demonstrate, taking to the streets, shouting, stomping our feet, chanting calls, singing songs of the opposition, holding banners in our hands or, at the very least, umbrellas. We dress in black, we paint trails of black tears on our faces. We occupy parliament, universities, courts, ministries. The Polish streets haven’t seen this level of protest since 1989. Jadwiga Sawicka (b.1959), the artist behind these famous paintings-cum-communiqués, has the following to say: “As time goes by and the situation continues to head off in a dangerous direction, doubts about the power and righteousness of one's own voice rise diametrically. Irony loses speed. Reason feeds into the decision to withdraw and preserve one's strength. Yet the body doesn't succumb: it gives way to spontaneous gestures of aversion or disapproval. There's something twisting about on the inside. In extreme cases, the body resorts to vomiting and sobbing, although the most frequent reflex is the shrugging of the shoulders.”

MDLE and MDŁO play on the word game between FAINT and FEEBLE. Two lightboxes light up their slogans interchangeably, flashing Bitter Left and Sweet Right – phrases drawn directly from Tadeusz Konwicki’s novel "A Minor Apocalypse" (1979).
From 1997, Sawicka produced canvases depicting slogans scrawled across pastel backgrounds, such as:
KILLING AGAIN
DOCTOR ON TRIAL
A FRIEND’S BETRAYAL
WINNING LOSING
PUREBRED national
VICTORY OF THE ACTIVE POWERS OF THE INTELLECT OVER THE STATE OF IRRATIONALITY AND CHAOS (quoted from Katarzyna Kobro’s 1937 manifesto).
Snappy, expressive, concise, these phrases have been painted in black letters just like those seen on typical signs at a demonstration. While the context isn’t specific, these metaphors can nonetheless be seamlessly applied to any number of demonstrations, as is the case with Heart of the Nation. It came about for the Attention! Border exhibition at the Arsenał Gallery in Białystok in 2017. A year later, it was, in fact, spontaneously taken up for the Schuman Parade on the 8th of May.

Sawicka’s signs have often come about in response to a specific space in the public realm, such as her 2011 lightbox series in Vienna, which called out, THEY CRIED THEY SHOUTED THEY DIED – THEY WORK THEY BUY THEY GET SICK, referring to the victims of a contagion. As Anda Rottenerg has written, “There are various types of contagious diseases. Some attack the body, others the mind. When it comes to Vienna, it’s been through both types of epidemics. (…) Jadwiga Sawicka’s work refers to the latter.” (A. Rottenberg, "Berlińska depresja", Warsaw: 2018, p. 208)

The exhibition Protest Reflex, Sawicka’s precise choice of words stands in for a spontaneous physical response. A sense of discomfort comes through in the individual, hidden reactions of the body when faced with the brunt of reality. Even when the act of protest isn’t an active one, it happens on its own in the intimacy of one’s own home. The phrase “Home Body” in one of the works is mixed with that of the “Digital Body”. There’s no public body here, of the type that Judith Butler described when speaking about the “bodies on the street” (J. Butler, Notes Toward a Performative Theory of Assembly, Cambridge: 2015). Both home-bound and digital bodies are excluded from the performance of the street, full of bodies that come together, moving and speaking in unison, voicing their claim to the public space. Here we clearly see a movement back towards intimate gestures and small-scale anarchy.

"New Gestures" is a project that developed in practice with students of the School of Art at the University of Rzeszów. Its subtitle, “Exercises for Introverts” reveals the character of the Protest Reflex exhibition. These exercises were based on the interpretation of non-verbal signals that discretely manifest our feelings for things, phenomena, actions that incite anger. “Discretion refers to the respectful stance towards personal inviolability: we want to express our disapproval, but without using insults or causing conflict. Imagine that your gesture enters into common usage and can be used by individuals who consider themselves as peacefully-minded or shy, but who still want to express their opposition to certain situations,” Sawicka explains.

The artist has initiated the creation of a picture dictionary with suggestions for a new set of gestures. In collaboration with other artists, she’s remade these gestures, endowing them with new meanings, pouring new contexts into them, as with books. Books with their covers painted are set up in topical stacks: DOGS have eaten, BITCHES ran off, ART has fallen, on her knees, chaoses. Shifting the absolutes, Sawicka creates a new collection of titles, without any reference to any earlier contexts, which have all been negated. As Ewa Gorządek has written, “Her works carry a vast critical potential, which is only revealed after a deep analysis of the messages that they hold.”
Protest reflex has taken over BWA Warszawa.