Performer, author of videos and objects-installations. Born in 1978 in Gdynia.
A performance artist and creator of video and object-installations; her work features videos with themes of femininity and uses various paradigmatic clichés to describe it.
From "Have You Seen this Person". Source: www.angelikafojtuch.net
Present in many of Fojtuch's videos is the theme of femininity and various paradigmatic clichés used to describe it - such as the stereotype of the woman as a wacko (Mamix, 2002), or as a passive object exploited by men (I Like Playing With a Doll, 2003). In the film Themareme (2003), the artist tackled the issue of identity, family ties, inherited traits passed from generation to generation. The video, which was a kind of self-portrait, had a simple construction: we see the artist's face as she introduces herself using her own name, and then using the names of her parents, grandparents, and so on. As she goes back in time like that, the picture gets whiter and whiter, until it disappears altogether.
She studied fine arts at the Mikołaj Kopernik University in Toruń, the Krakow Academy of Fine Arts, the Poznań Academy of Fine Arts, and finally at the Gdańsk Academy of Fine Arts, where in 2005 she earned a degree in intermedia under Prof Grzegorz Klaman (an addendum in Prof Zbigniew Pidek's Sculpture Studio). She lives and works in the Tricity.
Themareme Gdańsk 2003
In 2006, Fojtuch founded a performance art forum called Port Performance, organising shows, symposiums, and workshops. In 2007, she co-organised the Dialog, a project based on the exchange of cultural codes. A group of performance artists visited Polish (Gdańsk, Poznań, Krakow) and Austrian cities (Vienna, Graz, Linz) that they had connections with, performing in their local contexts.
Mamix Gdańsk 2002
I Like Playing With a Doll Gdańsk 2003
We Love Each Other But No So Much So As To Lublin 2004
photo: Wojciech Pacewicz
Women's Day Krakow 2004
Also Fojtuch's performances, presented in gallery as well as public spaces, are dominated by the theme of femininity, female physicality, women's social exclusion. In the happening We Love Each Other But No So Much So As To (2004), for instance, the artist used the menstruation blood motif, staining the floor of the performance space with a red liquid (blood-imitating beet soup concentrate). She then handed tissues over to the men in the audience, asking them to clean the floor. Only some were able to overcome their instinctive disgust. During Women's Day in Kraków on 8 March 2004, Fojtuch for a couple of hours stood immobile, leaning against a walker (of the kind typically used by senile persons), dressed in an adult diaper, holding a placard saying 'I am a woman. Thank God'. The action expressly alluded to the social exclusion of women, their incapacitation, stigmatisation.
Like Love Like Art Gdańsk 2005
Angelika Fojtuch's graduation project at the Gdańsk Academy of Fine Arts was a performance piece called Like Love Like Art (2005). The artist used her partner's body to wipe off the inscription miłość (love) formed on the floor using fluffs of dust. She hid the dust balls under her dress, which was gradually creating the suggestion of a pregnant belly. When only the particle -ość (fishbone) remained, the roles were reversed and Deimling dragged the artist out of the room. The performance was therefore a grotesque reflection of (mutual) family relationships between a woman and a man.
Yours Gdańsk 2005, photo: Anna Kalwajtys
... s'Hertogensbosch 2006, photo: Paulina Braun
In some of her performances, the artist forces her viewers into reacting, violating their physical comfort. During Yours, Fojtuch clutched a man's legs tightly, shouting 'Run, for fuck's sake, run!' or 'Faster!' to elicit a reaction from him. She thus became the proverbial 'ball and chain', but the performance alluded to a different level of human relationships - their purely physical aspect, the invisible barrier, or taboo, related to touching another person. A reverse situation took place in 2007 in s'Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands, when the artist and her camerawoman became the subject of aggression from casual witnesses. Fojtuch, wrapped head to toe in white bandage, tried to crawl down a city promenade. She proved a problem for the local shop owners, who tried at all cost to remove her from in front of their shops, but also to 'free' her from the restraints they thought the camerawoman had put her into.
Thieves Gdańsk 2005
Go Home! Warsaw 2006
photo: Karolina Vyšata
The issue of public space, its appropriation, had already been present in Fojtuch's earlier pieces. In the performance Thieves (2005), the artist, hidden in a dark room, screamed like an animal, trying to discourage the viewers from entering. She was simultaneously thematising 'female' phobias, madness, hysteria (like in the video Mamix), and the so called 'female sensitivity'. As part of Interrupted Connections at the Zachęta in Warsaw in 2006, Fojtuch showed Go Home!, which clearly alluded to Warsaw's hot debate at the time about dog faeces on the streets and a controversial journalist's ironic idea to stick miniature Polish national flags in them to raise the awareness of the problem. The artist, with a bandaged arm, where she kept her dog, pretended to be peeing on the floor, licked off the pee, poured some sand out of long socks, formed mounds with it, and stuck a red-and-white flag into it. She completed the performance by standing on the roof
Nest Łódź 2007
photo: Galeria Manhattan
of a miniature house and humming "If I Were a Rich Man" from Fiddler on the Roof, and freeing the dog, which ran out of the room after an apple she threw for it. The piece referenced the private sphere, the privacy of one's home, the dream of having a quiet place of one's own, and at the same time the public, common sphere, and the issue of collective responsibility for its condition (and the shunning thereof). Similar issues are tackled by one of Fojtuch's most recent performances, as part of which she stood in front of a tower block in Łódź and called out 'Mama!', evoking an image missing from Polish cities today and common only a dozen or so years ago, reflecting a change that has occurred over that time in the perception of public space.
In her 2010 performance Where Have They Gone (Gdzie się podziały) the artist stands in the place of a historic fountain in the middle of the park, functioning as a life sculpture to replace the one that had been demolished in the scope of history and natural degradation. For the artist, "the casual visitors of the park are the witnesses of the action".
Photos courtesy of the artist.
Author: Karol Sienkiewicz, December 2007.
- Offsceniczny Festiwal Dzialan Performatywnych, Muzeum Czestochowskie, Częstochowa
- Indeendence.Do Performance Festival, Museo De Arte Moderno, DO - Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata
- Sign of Equality, Nippon International Performance Art Festival NIPAF'11, J - Tokyo, Osaka, Nagano
- Sopot'2011, Crossactions: Urban Tales, Polish Presidency of the UE programme, PL-Sopot
- Secrets and Lies, Alternativa Housewarming, Wyspa Institute of Art, Gdańsk
- Vabank, THIRD INTERNATIONAL BIENNIAL OF PERFORMANCE DEFORMES 2010, Chile-Santiago, Valparaíso, Valdivia
- Zrosty, EPAF, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, PL-Warsaw
- Tattoo ,Préavis de désordre urbain, Marseille
- Performance, Palace of Arts, NAVINKI, Minsk
- 4U", 2nd Thessaloniki Biennale of Contemporary Art- PRAXIS Performance Festival, The State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki
- ..., SUPERMARKET Art Fair presented by Lokal_30 gallery, SE-Stockholm
- ..., NADA Art Fair presented by Lokal_30 gallery, Miami
- 4U, 7a 11d International Festival of Performance Art, Fado- Performance Art Center, Toronto
- 4U, 9th OPEN international Performance Art Festival, curated by Chen Jin, Beijing
- I'm Looking for this Person, BWA, Wrocław
- ... - s'Hertogenbosch, Netherlands
- Gniazdo - Galeria Manhattan, Łódź
- After Saturday - Jerusalem, Israel
- Why You Don't Fuck Me - Modelarnia, Gdańsk
- Jestem - Galeria Entropia, Wrocław
- Guilty - Art Academy, Tallinn, Estonia
- Trust - Modelarnia, Gdańsk
- Genesis - M3: Zündverteiler, Galeria Nord, Berlin, Germany
- Dialog - KloszART, Gdańsk
- Jaka miłość taka sztuka - Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej Łaźnia, Gdańsk; Motorenhalle, Dresden, Germany
- Twoja 1 - Festiwal Performance Problem, Galeria Szyperska, Poznań
- Zło-dzieje - KloszART, Gdańsk
- Selekcja - Absolwent, Instytut Sztuki Wyspa, Gdańsk
- Kochamy się ale nie aż tak żeby - Performance Festiwal Kontperformance, Galeria KONT, Lublin
- Święto Kobiet - Krakow
- 2005 - Ajababy - Galeria Sztuki Wozownia, Toruń
Selected group exhibitions:
- Reset - Bunkier Sztuki, Krakow
- City Transformers - Stocznia Gdańska, Gdańsk
- Bachanalia - noc przesilenia - Modelarnia, Gdańsk
- IV Festiwal sztuki nowych mediów Videokont - Galeria KONT, Lublin
- Precedens 06 - Tarnowskie Centrum Kultury, Tarnowskie Góry
- Czas w obrazie - BWA, Wrocław
- Młoda rzeźba Gdańska - Galeria Rzeźby ZPAR, Gdańsk
- 8 marca Święto Kobiet - Galeria Lokal, Krakow
- Zoon1 Politikon - Bałtycka Galeria Sztuki Współczesnej, Słupsk
- Audiotourism - Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej Łaźnia, Gdańsk; National Centre for Contemporary Art, Kaliningrad, Russia
- Aktuelle Videoarbeiten aus Polen - Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany
- You Won't Feel a Thing - Kunsthaus Dresden, Germany
- Raj utracony (-ch) wzniosłości, majówka artystyczna, Modelarnia, Gdańsk
- Panie proszą panów - Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej Łaźnia, Gdańsk
- Przerwane połączenia - Zachęta Narodowa Galeria Sztuki, Warsaw
- Policja - Bunkier Sztuki, Krakow
- The Sculpture Speaks: Power and Freedom - Art Hall, Tallinn, Estonia
- Do domu, Videoscreening at MOTION 4, Performance Art Festival, D-Berlin
- Video performance Do domu! at My Camp exhibition, IL-Tel Aviv
- WRO 09 Polish Video Tour, Invideo Festival, Spazio Oberdan, IT-Milano
- Video performance at Vilnius Coop gaps, The X Baltic Triennial of International Art, LT-Vilnius
- WRO 09 Polish Video Tour, curated by Piotr Krajewski, UA-Lviv
- Photo of Performance, Encuentro Multidisciplinario De Soporte Performatico, curated by Maribel Martinez, Arcimboldo Gallery, AR-Buenos Aires
- Video presentation, curated by Grzegorz Klaman, Fiction and Fiction, ISW, PL-Gdansk
- Art & Documentation Festival, Łódź
- Transit, 2nd Moscow Biennale of Young Art, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow
- INDE pop ENDENCE-International Festival of Performance Art, Teatro Ivan Garcia, Republica Dominicana-Puerto Plata
- A4 Action- the other genre, Casarao de Cultura, BR-Rio Claro
- re.act.feminism /a performing archive, ISW, PL-Gdańsk
- Dla Was / For You - the exhibition of the new art collection, ms2 Muzeum Sztuki, PL-Lodz
I Am Searching for This Person Wrocław 2007