In her work, Paulina Olowska explores forgotten aesthetics of modern movements in the twentieth century. Through repetition and the use of references, she redefines their narrations and romantic utopias. Employing a wide range of media, including painting, collage, installation, performance, video, fashion and music, she combines stories of women with social problems and functional art, often engaging with the public space and its sculptures, neon lights and wall paintings.
Paulina Olowska was born in Gdansk and currently lives in Raba Nizna, Poland. She studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Fine Arts Academy in Gdansk, before being invited to the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam in 2001/2002. Her work has been shown in numerous international art venues, including KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin (during the 5th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art), Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zürich, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, Centre Pompidou in Paris, Muzeum Sztuki Nowoczesnej in Warsaw, Museu d'Art Contemporani (MACBA) in Barcelona and CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco. She is represented by Gallery Daniel Buchholz in Cologne/Berlin and Metro Pictures in New York.
A public lecture within the framework of the thematic project ‘Who if not She! – Gender Performance, the Feminist Concern: Towards a Different Artistic Repertoire' curated by Jan Verwoert.
We have seen enough of the same old patriachal patterns repeat themselves in society and the arts. But even though the protest against them by now has its own history, it doesn't mean that things have changed that drastically. Especially not in the art world where, despite the fact that there are so many incredible female artists, writers and curators around, certain prevalent role and career models – modes of presenting your persona and work, modes of claiming territory, modes of gaining, wielding and sustaining power – still give particular types of men access to privileged positions and make life considerably more difficult for women.
Jan Verwoert is an art critic based in Berlin. Next to being a contributing editor to Frieze magazine he also writes for contemporary art journals and magazines including Afterall and Metropolis M. His book 'Bas Jan Ader – In Search of the Miraculous' was published in 2006 by Afterall Books/MIT Press.
Piet Zwart Institute, part of Willem de Kooning Academy Rotterdam University
Postgraduate studies and research
'Is It About Man and Woman?'
a performance by Paulina Olowska and Jan Verwoert
location: Piet Zwart Institute, Mauritsstraat 36, Rotterdam