Anka Leśniak

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WORKS 2014




The exhibition relates to the images and meanings of both ancient goddesses and the goddesses still worshipped today but unknown in Western culture. It is not the aim of the series of photographs inspired by their iconography to copy their images. The artist focused on the characteristics which the primary goddesses possessed and transferred these characteristics to her following incarnations. She also evokes the archetype of the mother-goddess who gave birth to the world and who appears in many cultures as the Great Goddess, Sumerian goddess Aruru or Tiamat. In the series there are also references to the Hindu goddess Durgi with multiple arms who was close to Kali, as well as Cybele, Hecate, the Triple Goddess, Artemise of Ephesia and the double-headed statue of an unknown female deity. The aspect of the hybrid corporality of goddesses is important, in which parts of their bodies are multiplied or possess elements of animals. These are bodies which are not embraced by accepted norms of beauty. By operating with contemporary digital photography and photomontage techniques the artist transforms their images into contemporary times and asks the question, how useful and convincing can these images be for contemporary women, including herself. What kind of content will contemporary society see in them? Using the scraps of knowledge about the goddesses' features, will one be able to assemble another image of womanhood than the ones that we currently know and which dominate in our culture?

Durga-Kali Tiamat

Double-headed Goddess Lilith

Vesica Piscis (Twin-tailed Siren) Hekate

Durga-Kali / Tiamat
Double-headed Goddess / Lilith
Vesica Piscis (Twin-tailed Siren) / Hekate
7 photographies 130 x 130 cm, object

BWA Olsztyn, exhibition view