Centrala presents 'Notations' - an exhibition by Malgorzata Dawidek. A collection of video-essays and performance art episodes undertaking an analysis of the body’s crises in the context of the narrative nature of corporeality and of a story told through the experience of pain, fear and isolation.
The questions Małgorzata Dawidek has placed at the heart of the exhibition Notations presented at the Centrala Gallery concern how the artistic tools of performance art, recording and video essay can be used to give expression to a body entrenched in a long-term crisis of health and, at the same time, avoid emotional blackmail in telling the story of an illness whilst building an empathetic message concerning the theme of corporeal feelings. How can the presentation of acute experiences which shape an individual’s identity be reconfigured in order to break the spell of myth and metaphor which sets the endurance of illness solely in a heroic, romantic, religious, therapeutic and biomedical context? Book of Hours is a one-woman performance art work, based on somatic practices of a body critically overburdened in the personal sphere. A film miniature entitled obs is a notation of a choreography of the gaze, looking and sight. In the video-essay Bodygraphic Notations the artist leads spectators through her research into illness narratives, exploration of the first-person narrative form, and methods of working with the body and space. The issues Malgorzata Dawidek is tackling in her projects have become highly topical in the context of the current pandemic, which is bringing a new dimension to the concept of disease and affecting medical, social, cultural, educational, economic and political relations. This adjustment in logic within various fields of human activity and areas of study is not only giving rise to a shift in focus away from the familiar patterns of treating illness and towards the personal, everyday experiences of individuals, but is also motivating society to build a collective of care.