Corsets then and now
Jasmina Al-Qaisi, Alexandra Ivanciu,
Aurora Kiraly, Jolanta Nowaczyk, Spot the Women!
11 Dec 2020 - 07 Feb 2021
Spot the Women!
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Spot the women!
Where is She?, 2020
Info point: Elena Popea.
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“Elena Popea is the only woman artist present in the permanent collection of the Cluj Museum of Art. This small venue is supposed to bring some awareness for the locals that visited, never visited, or want to visit the Museum. The project is part of many that took place in 2020 with the sole purpose of creating a context for a more complex understanding of recent art history through classes, conferences, exhibitions and also spread the word through merchandise (tote bags, cards, badges etc) with the names of these women artists. The information on the post cards is literally from Wikipedia, because we don`t want the public to find it difficult to remember new information, just the basic things and if they are interested, they can further their findings in other albums or books. We hope this insignificant step will at least have a local mark and visitors of the exhibition will visit the Museum and at least know before that Elena Popea is exhibited there or will tell other people when they are asked who is on their badge or tote bag.” Gabriela Mateescu


"Within the Héroïnes series, I cite the works of important modern and contemporary female artists and regardless of the medium used when they were previously done, I translate them into a series of sketches painted on notebook pages, put on knife boads. It is a personal selection, based on works by female artists whose oeuvre, process and practices influenced my artistic choices made in the last couple of years." — Király Aurora

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HÉROÏNES, 2015 After Sonia Delaunay. Couverture de Berceau, 1911​
HÉROÏNES, 2020 After Lygia Clark, Abyssal mask with eye-patch_1968
HÉROÏNES, 2020 After Martha Rossler, Semiotics of the Kitchen, 1975
HÉROÏNES, 2015 After Francesca Woodman, ”then at one point i did not need to translate the notes; they went directly to my hands,” 1976
HÉROÏNES, 2020 After Sherrie Levine, untitled (Presidential Collage 4), 1979
HÉROÏNES, 2020 After Diane Simpson, Underskirt_1986
HÉROÏNES, 2018 After Pipilotti Rist_Ever Is Over All, 1997
HÉROÏNES, 2013 After Kiki Smith_Ginzer, 2000
HÉROÏNES, 2015 After Martha Wilson,Name≠Fate, 2009
HÉROÏNES, 2013 After Marina Abramovic, The Artist Is Present, performance, 2010

"The work is presented through ten pieces each time - each selection is different and doesn’t represent permanent and conclusive choice. Other works are continually integrated into this sketch archive, as this is an in-progress project. Each time the work is displayed in an exhibition, the selection reflects the choice made in that specific moment." — Király Aurora

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Király Aurora
HÉROÏNES, series, 2013-2020
Acrylics on paper mounted on wooden cutting boards
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50s or Soft Despair

"This project continues Héroïnes’ endeavours, only this time it is based o poses of feminine silhouettes selected from the contemporary dance shows of artists* which forced the creative boundaries - either conceptually or by the way they used motion and the body, or artists which have been forgotten, whose contribution is underrated. The silhouettes are made out of colored felt and where the heads are situated, there are self portraits of the artist. *Quoted artists: Mary Wigman, Meredith Monk, Lucinda Childs, Yvonne Rainer, Marie Chouinard, Mette Ingvartsen, Mette Edvardsen

The modules of the same installation are exposed under a different shape at Zina Gallery, through the reconfiguration of the same silhouettes taking the form of a sculpture-installation, where the characters are piled one upon another - a pile of skins, clothes, identities - a familiar domestic structure created by taking off our clothes in a sloppy manner, while at the same time letting go of many of the social masks which we wear everyday. " — Király Aurora

Király Aurora
50s sau Soft Despair, 2020
Felt and cotton
Bine Biene
Al Qaisi Jasmina
Bine Biene, 2020
Sound installation


A first result of that kind of self reflection going into my artistic work is the sound installation Bine Biene (2020) which is a long-poem format, built for the gallery space - alte feuerwache, Berlin, in which I combine reflections on my past, stories of close women and implied anthropomorphism mixing the information with facts about the Apidae family.” — "Jasmina Al-Qaisi"

Making of:
Sink of Swim
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“Sink or Swim was an attempt to reconstruct an event that never happened. 50 years ago, Anna Szpakowska-Kujawska did not carry out her project. All that is left from this work are sketches, photographs of scale models and laconic descriptions contained in a catalogue summarising the event.

Anna Szpakowska-Kujawska’s idea was based on making huge human-shaped balloons float in the air before releasing them. The artist intended to go by boat across the Odra with the inflatable humanoids and let them fly away at some point.

50 years later Jolanta Nowaczyk got in touch with the artist and after many discussions, experiments and attempts to find a feasible solution, it turned out that the idea developed back then cannot be put into practice. Thus, the original purpose of the meeting – preparing the “impossible” project for implementation – gradually evolved into an intergenerational encounter of artists born 60 years apart, reflecting on success and failure in art.

The featured video documented the artists’ boat trip on the Odra, following the same route as in the original performance. However, there were no human figures floating above them.

The incorrect description of the project from the catalogue of the Symposium was corrected by Jolanta Nowaczyk’s intervention. She exchanged one page from the book in order to include more specific and detailed description. The “hacked” catalogue was donated to the collection of the Library of the Institute of Art History in Wrocław, becoming available to readers.” — Jolanta Nowaczyk

Jolanta Nowaczyk
Sink or Swim, 2020
Video installation, documentary photography series, in collaboration with Anna Szpakowska-Kujawska

“After many discussions, experiments and attempts to find a feasible solution, it turned out that the idea developed 50 years ago cannot be put into practice. Thus, the original purpose of the meeting – preparing the “impossible” project for implementation – gradually evolved into an intergenerational encounter of artists born 60 years apart, reflecting on success and failure in art.” — Jolanta Nowaczyk

Embodying Herstories
Alexandra Ivanciu
Embodying Herstories, 2017
Video installation
Project research:

1914 is the year when female Romanian artists made their first organisation, “The Association of Women Painters and Sculptors”, a moment that marks the beginning of a long fight for affirmation and visibility in the Romanian art world. The organisation was founded at the initiative of Olga Greceanu, together with Cecilia Cutescu-Stork and Nina Arbore. It represented a space where the members could identify common issues and organize exhibitions, since the oportunities for women to exhibit in group exhibitions with male artists were very small at that time. Therefore, the first Feminine Salon was made in Bucharest in 1916.

“Let us all meet, all women painters from Bucharest, and make an exhibition now, at the Atheneum, that will repeat every year!” — Olga Greceanu

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When she was living in France, in 1922, Olga Greceanu had a big surprise to find in an antique store a work made by a female artist, that she later discovred dated from the 14th century. She didn’t know female artists existed besides two ro three names and from this moment on, she dedicated 20 years of her life to search for them. She was the first Romanian to write a book about female artists, “Unknown Women Painters”, first published in French and later in Romanian.

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“I entered libraries, I read old books, letters, ambums, old publications, manuscripts [...] And look at me now, truly working. From morning until evening I write, I compare, I travel, I research, I add [...] I started with one, with Margriete van Eyck from the 14th century to discover thirty more, from which, some of them famous before Christ. But for this, countless stairs I climbed, countless roads I walked. I am the slave of my work limited by my own powers, because I live in Romania and the life of my artists happened in Belgium, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Greece, Holland...Others will write for sure about the old women painters. And they will have the joy of being more comprehensive than me, but I had the joy of being their first historian.” — Olga Greceanu

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Cecilia Cuțescu-Stork is the first Romanian female artist ever identified and the first university female professor. She is one of the most loud feminist voices in the art scene at the beginning of the 20th century. Since she was a student, first in Munich, then in Paris, she was already observing the marginalisation of women artists and she was encountering inequalities at every step. Through her sister, already studying in Paris before she arrived, she gets in contact with the French feminist movement that influences her a lot. She returns in Bucharest in 1906 to start working with the Romanian female artists.

“Of all the social problems, the ones that preocupied me more were regarding the woman’s situation, namely liberation and acquiring civil rights for women, ie for the second half of beings that make up humanity.” — Cecilia Cuțescu-Stork

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Nina Arbore was a feminist anarchist. She was preocupied by the woman’s condition and with the moment’s social problems. She was politically engaged especially in her graphic works, having the aim of rethinking the woman’s status in society. She was a part of the feminist movements, advocating for rights for working and peasant women and participating in all the protests. Her sister, Ecaterina Arbore, was one of the few radical feminists of modern Romania, assasinated from Stalin’s order when she was living in Moskow.

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“A feminine specific sensibility does not exist in art for the simple reason that intelligence and art don’t have sex. Feminine and masculine are ratings that don’t correspond to any reality in art. A drawing of mine, rough, rugged and confident cand be much more virile that a bouquet of white lilacs beside a purple envelope of who knows which male painter. No specific feminine sensitivity related to the sex of the creator exists, only related to his way of being.” — Nina arbore

“When you are a woman, you need to have the energy of a mad person and the madness of a desperate one to defeat all the obstacles that society puts in front of the courageous girls.” — Cecilia Cuțescu-Stork

The “Association of the Women Painters and Sculptors” finished their activity in 1927, but the artists continued to exhibit. Later, the “Feminine Artistic Circle” is founded after the same model: “The aim of the circle is defending the moral and material interests, strenghtening the ties and professional solitarity between the female artists[...]”. The last big exhibition before the second world war was an international one, called “The Small Feminine Antanta”. It took place at the Atheneum, in 1938.