The artist based her work on conversations with women artists who began their careers
in the 70s and have been active till now, and asked the question why so few of
them have remained active, compared with male artists from the same generation.
Today it is a common belief that many women practice as artists and the problem
of equal rights for men and women has been solved. Anka Lesniak in her project
"Registered" asks the question, whether this belief can be supported with facts.
Has indeed the number of exhibitions by women artists_ in art galleries
substantially increased over the last three decades? Are there many more
women lecturers in art schools? And finally, do women artists today feel
that the problems which the older generation of artists came across still exist?
"Registered" consists of a video installation, paintings and an art book.
The starting point for the installation consisted of interviews that
Anka Lesniak conducted with young artists. The video installation is
a kind of a dialogue between artists and it presents a lively image
of the situation of women in contemporary Polish art. Anka Lesniak
also did research in the archives of selected galleries that have
been active since the 70s. Based on the data collected, she
compared the number of female to male exhibitions throughout
the years. The statistics were shown in the form
of apparently abstract paintings that contain,
however, encoded information. The art book
includes fragments of statements that influenced the artist
the most when talking to artists of her own generation.
In the project "Fading Traces" the artist stood to one side, as
a mere listener of the stories told by older artists who were
reconstructing the atmosphere of their youth based on memories,
creating an "oral history", that is different from the history
written by art historians.
In the project "Registered" she voices her own
opinions as she is also part of the current art scene.
Problems that are currently talked about are her own
problems as well, and she questions her contemporaries
born in the 70s and 80s. A time loop that demonstrates both
the changes, and also the persistency of stereotypes appears.
A continuing process emerges that talks about the pioneer role
of women in art of the 70s, that prepared the g
round for the today's women artists.
The artists participating in the project are:
Karolina Breguła, Izabela Chamczyk, Agnieszka Chojnacka,
Iwona Demko, Monika Drożyńska, Magda Komborska, Anka Leśniak,
Katarzyna Majak and Kamila Mankus.
text: Karolina Jabłońska
transtation: Małgorzata Kaźmierczak, Anne Seagrave
This project was supported by an award from the Creativity Promotion Fund.
More on the project's web site:
Anka Leśniak is active as an artist in genres such as:
installation, art action, painting, video-art. She has
participated in more than 40 individual and group shows.
In her art she mainly focuses on the history of women and makes site specific artworks.
In 2003 she graduated from Art History in the University of Lodz. In 2004 she graduated
from the Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz with honours. In 2011 she received a Stipend
from the Creativity Promotion Fund of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.