Anka Leśniak


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WORKS 2012

EVERY HOUSE NEEDS A BALCONY

Art Tranzyt Festival SMOG - performance/installation event in urban space,
Sektor 2 Gallery, Jaworzno

Every house needs a balcony - installation in urban space Every house needs a balcony - installation in urban space Every house needs a balcony - installation in urban space Every house needs a balcony - installation in urban space
Every house needs a balcony - installation in urban space Every house needs a balcony - installation in urban space Every house needs a balcony - installation in urban space Every house needs a balcony - installation in urban space
Every house needs a balcony - installation in urban space Every house needs a balcony - installation in urban space Every house needs a balcony - installation in urban space Every house needs a balcony - installation in urban space
Every house needs a balcony - installation in urban space Every house needs a balcony - installation in urban space Every house needs a balcony - installation in urban space Every house needs a balcony - installation in urban space
Every house needs a balcony - installation in urban space Every house needs a balcony - installation in urban space Every house needs a balcony - installation in urban space Every house needs a balcony - installation in urban space
Every house needs a balcony - installation in urban space Every house needs a balcony - installation in urban space Every house needs a balcony - installation in urban space Every house needs a balcony - installation in urban space


An inspiration for the work was a title of a book written by the Israeli writer Rina Frank: 'Every house needs a balcony'. The book, originally published in Hebrew, describes the lot of a woman from a family of Jewish immigrants, who left Europe to settle down in Haifa. The narrator describes family life, of which the greater part took place on a balcony. A balcony is a place from which the hero as a little girl observed reality.

A balcony has its significance in dream symbolism. It signifies waiting for and longing for something. Standing on the balcony means to have hope for realising dreams; to fall from a balcony means to lose delusions. To look at a balcony in a dream represents erotic dreams of the dreamer.

A balcony in an abandoned house, which presently is turned to suit the needs of a gallery, is as long as the width of the building. The house used to belong to a Jewish community – represented in a great number in Jaworzno before II World War.

I decided to place something on the balcony which is seemingly ordinary and still quite absurd when seen in the present reality, something contrasting with the environment – white balloons. An inscription was scratched on the wall in both Polish and Hebrew 'every house needs a balcony'. The text, when abstracted from the context of the book, became a social and democratic demand – a right to space which is both a common space and our own at the same time – at the meeting point of the public and private space.

In my work I wished to combine the threads of the place context – Jaworzno town, a house in which the installation was done – with an important thread in my art – the thread of females' history (recalling the hero of Rina Frank's novel - based on biographic threads). An important motif for me is to be found in the question of looking and waiting. The moment of observing while at the same time being observed. The installation became a setting for an action. I divided the viewers into two groups: the first one standing on the balcony and the second one under the balcony – women and men. In the action, I used fragments of Rina Frank's book.

other site-specific works:

I only wanted to fly

The House of Lilit

Shame Stones

The Penitent Women Bridge

White Plague

Liquid Wall