Anka Leśniak


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WORKS 2012

YOU ARE HERE

Transart Communication Festival,
Kosice, Slovakia

You are here - performance You are here - performance You are here - performance
You are here - performance You are here - performance You are here - performance
You are here - performance You are here - performance You are here - performance
You are here - performance You are here - performance You are here - performance

The performance was inspired by the shape of the main square in Koszyce. It is formed in a rather original shape similar to a spindle or an almond. Such an urban arrangement was frequent in the Middle-ages. In our times, main squares which managed to preserve such a shape are very rare. In Poland, a square in a shape of a spindle can be found in Sroda Slaska. My performance was based on an idea of a sisterly link between the two towns and their shared spindle-shaped market squares. The shape in question was associated at the times of Palaeolith with femininity and female symbols (it symbolised the vagina). Both towns had been discovered to have traces of Palaeolithic settlements.

I was dressed in white during the action. I started with offering almonds to the audience and with painting on the pavement, with pink paint, an almond-like shape which served as a background to write into the shape the names of the two towns (Košice, Sroda Sląska). While doing that, I explained to the audience the idea behind the project. Next, I walked around the market square while drawing symbols related to femininity at the time of Palaeolith (the symbols I used come from the book entitled 'Venus of Ice-age' by Rudolf Drossler).

I painted symbols at every entrance to a park which occupied a part of the market, as well as at every passage to the other side of the market between buildings. During my action, volunteers from Transart Communication gave away to passers-by leaflets that read:

The first traces of settlement around contemporary Koszyce has been dated at the end of Palaeolith. At that time, there existed a strong cult of women and femininity. Traces of those matriarchal times can be found in the shape of Main Market Square in Koszyce, which resembles an almond, or a spindle – a symbol of femininity.

The main square in a shape of a spindle is a unique phenomenon. An example of a square in a shape of a spindle can be found in Poland, in Sroda Slaska – a town situated in the west of Poland (near Wroclaw).


After making a full circle of the market square I came back to the starting point. I stood inside the painting in the shape of almond, while standing there I wrote on my dress the words "you are here". I finished the action by standing motionlessly for several minutes on the main street.

SOUVENIR FROM KOSICE

Transart Communication Festival,
Kosice, Slovakia

Souvenir from Kosice Souvenir from Kosice Souvenir from Kosice
Souvenir from Kosice Souvenir from Kosice Souvenir from Kosice

Kosice were awarded the title of Capital of Culture 2013. The performance referred to the media and commercial image of the town which was promoted on the Internet for foreign visitors. While reading information on the town in Polish and English, Kosice appears as a tourist town which offers many attractions. The text highlighted only positive features of the town. I could not find any texts which would talk about the dark sides of the town, its problems. I also could not find any texts attempting a deeper historio-ethnographic analysis of the place.

Since, us, the participants of the festival and the audience had an opportunity to be in such an 'ideal' town, I decided to prepare for the artists taking part in the festival and the audience souvenirs from Kosice. I made references to the previous performance in which I compared the shape of the Main Market Square in Kosice to a female body. I asked the participants to make an imprint of my body – from a part of my body, which they liked best. The action was carried out behind a canvass curtain on which there was projected a photographs of Kosice market square. The viewers would come one by one. The imprints were made with acrylic paint on A4 paper with an inscription "Anka Lesniak, Souvenir from Kosice – Capital of Culture 2013".


At the festival I performed 3 art actions – the first one in the space of the city, the second in DIG Gallery, the third one on a train (LiTrain).

other performance art works

Destination Destiny

Take a lipstick...

Penitent Women Bridge

Passing

Body Printing action