Polish Performance Archive

Description by Filmoteka Muzeum

Maintaining the Artistic Position was presented in 1989 at the BWA Gallery in Koszalin.
As in her other spoken performances, Zarzycka begins by introducing herself. She also shares her doubts with the audience – is her presence justified? Does she deserve to perform in such an “eminent circle”? In a self-referential spirit, she addresses the event in which she is participating and describes the process of creating the performance.

The work revolves around the topic of the artistic status. In order to “strengthen her position” in the art world, Zarzycka puts on white high heels. The situation becomes comical – the artist staggers and the shoes do not match her outfit at all. “Maintaining the artistic position” proves to be a neck-breaking task, which entails pressure and deprives one of freedom and comfort.

Dorota Jarecka interprets the performance from a Feminist perspective and compares Zarzycka’s ultimate rejection of the high heels with Ewa Partum’s gesture, who often wore such shoes in her performances as they helped her to stand out. According to Jarecka, the meaning of the act of removing the uncomfortable high heels in Maintaining the Artistic Position is related to the rejection of the canon and the manifestation of the artist’s will to participate in the art world on her own terms.