Partager l'article


Little “tales of ordinary madness

Drawing from body language and the poetry of the absurd, the framework of Joanna Piotrowska’s multimedia practice is aimed at staging bodies under tension in artificial postures to bring out the violence of human relationships, oscillating from embrace to oppression.  

© Joanna Piotrowska, Sans titre, 2015, 21 x 27 cm, tirage gélatino argentique
© Joanna Piotrowska, Sans titre, 2022, 130 x 160 cm, tirage gélatino argentique

“Through photography, film and performance, Joanna Piotrowska points to the secular logic of domination which, often underlying or unconscious, governs domestic structures”; “her staging of bodies and gestures, spaces and objects” shows the “authority and defense mechanisms that are necessary in our daily lives.” The absence of “keys” – the triggers (prohibited, codes, psychological, or physical violence, etc.) not being revealed – “gives its images [and installations] crossed by the notions of contact and resistance a highly enigmatic character,” explains Anne-Lou Vicente about the disturbing work of the guest artist in her exhibition, L’Irrésolue au Plateau (see Acumen #32).

Equivocal scenes

Playing with the ambivalence of things (places, objects, interiors…), beings and attitudes not contextualized, abandoned to their fate and their most elementary meaning, as the protagonists of a story whose framework and narrative framework would have been lost, the scenes soon appear as “tales of ordinary madness.” 

© Joanna Piotrowska, Sans titre, 2023, 160 x 130 cm, tirage gélatino argentique

“Hands reach out, intertwine, caress each other,” bodies abandon themselves and lean on other shelters or escape and take refuge in shelters made up of an improbable assembly of furniture and objects, giving the interior the appearance of domestic chaos…  

Domestic chaos

© Joanna Piotrowska, Sans titre, 2016, 27cm x 21cm, tirage gélatino-argentique

Fear and disarray lurk in the aseptic confines of homes or the artificial habitats of deserted zoos. From the gestures and the lost glances also emanates a certain sweetness, a guarantee of a happiness lurking in the intimacy of hearts, because it is indeed this hidden intimacy, this repressed truth, that the Polish artist wants to bring to light: to pierce the mystery that emerges in the glances and gestures under the effect of the constraint of the poses, which are often bizarre, imposed: this is the secret of the photographer who wants to free the hearts imprisoned in constrained bodies. When photography becomes therapy…


Le Bal

6, Impasse de la Défense, Paris VIII

Jusqu’au 21 mai


Stépanie Dulout