Anka Leśniak

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WORKS 2008


Disenchantment project

Zielona Góra, Poland

The basis for this project was the dark site of the history of Zielona Góra (Polish city since 1945, earlier belonged to Germany). The main subject of the exhibition was the trials of women accused of witchcraft, and the subsequent burning of them at the stake. The aim of the project was to remind the viewer about this brutal fact of history in the context of our times and our current prejudices.

My work highlights the use of "Shame Stones", which were designed as a punishment especially for women. They had to walk across the town with stones hanging from metal hoops placed on their necks and wrists. This way they were punished for talkativeness and quarrelsomeness, that are stereotypically ascribed to women.

On the stones there were caricatures of women faces, e.g. with pouted cheeks or a sticking out tongue. I imitated the original stones using a self-portrait and I hung them on the wall of an old, abandoned house, which is situated in a former "Torturer's Garden".

other site-specific works:

Every house needs a balcony

I only wanted to fly

The house of Lilith

The penitent women bridge

White Plague

Liquid Wall