Curatorial text from the exhibition “Whose Voices Are Being Heard?

Everything that matters happened outside the space of this exhibition. This sentence applies very well to presenting the results of six female artists’ residencies at the BWA Wrocław Główny Gallery. Held in the spring and summer of this year, they were part of the Polish-Norwegian exchange programme for artists, ‘Whose Voices Are Being Heard?’. For a moment, the artists inhabited a new environment. It became a space for them to ask questions, to create, to talk, to be emotional and to doubt. It was a very intense time – hard to be confined within the exhibition’s rigid architectural and temporal framework. It is difficult to capture the diversity of shared experiences and events in the works created during this time. They are important, but one of many results of processes initiated several months ago. Therefore, the exhibition is only a variant of a polyphonic story.

Invited to participate in the project were people with some difficult experiences behind them, whose artistic paths had sometimes been winding. Some of them had never had the chance to participate in a residency before, and in the rush of daily affairs and commitments, they could not find the opportunity to put their ideas into practice. The residencies have therefore become a special event, allowing artists to devote themselves entirely to their artistic activity, an occasion to redirect their attention towards their creative process. Kine Michelle Bruniera, Lill Yildiz Yalcin, Aliona Pazdniakova, Yachi Shian-Yuan Yang, and Ingrid Frivold are all artists living in Norway who spent a month in Wrocław. At the same time, Viktoriia Tofan made the reverse journey and went from Wrocław to the small Norwegian town of Hvitsten for four weeks.

The exhibition presents the voices of female artists who have diverse backgrounds and skills. Being the result of encounters during the artistic residency, it emphasises understanding how other people think, process information, perceive the world and make decisions. It celebrates cognitive diversity. The common quality of the works is a sharp and fresh perspective, with some artworks being a kind of manifesto in response to the interference of the Catholic Church or the state in the private lives of people or the energy crisis. The artists, speaking from their positions as representatives of minority groups, call for inclusivity and the courage to – as Donna Haraway wants – destabilise worlds of thinking with other worlds of thinking[1]

[1] Donna Haraway, ‘Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Chthulucene: Staying with the Trouble’, transcription of conference paper Anthropocene: Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet;

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