Dorota Jarecka. A Raised Fist
Art Against War and Fascism in the 20th and 21st Centuries
The first part of the conference “Never Again” entitled “Art Against War and Fascism in the 20th and 21st Centuries”, takes up the debate underway in the field of art and elsewhere on the forms of engagement by the artistic community and cultural institutions in historically crucial moments.
Lecture "A Raised Fist" by Dorota Jarecka:
In the history of the workers’ movement associated with the communist left, “antifascism” is one of the most mystified concepts. The reason is the semantic instability of the notion of “fascism” in the language of communist propaganda. It was applied for at least two functions: once to identify specific historical formations, and elsewhere rhetorically, as an epithet stigmatizing the enemy, a weapon in a current political battle. The presentation will analyse the connections between this complex linguistic and ideational situation and art. The period of 1933–1952 will be treated as a whole. The artists whose works touch on the topic as defined include Marian Bogusz, Henryk Gotlib, Leopold Lewicki, Stanisław Osostowicz, Erna Rosenstein, Jonasz Stern, Henryk Wiciński and Andrzej Wróblewski. Also moments when art texts diverge from ideological texts will be shown. If the political language of the epoch is performative, art disappoints its expectations, thus insisting on its own agency.
Art historian, critic and curator. She is the co-author of Erna Rosenstein: I Can Repeat Only Unconsciously, published in Warsaw in 2014, which preceded a series of exhibitions of the artist at Foksal Gallery Foundation in Warsaw (2011), Art Stations Gallery in Poznań (2011), and the Xawery Dunikowski Museum of Sculpture in Warsaw (2014). She published a book-length interview with Anda Rottenberg, Już trudno (Too Bad, 2013). Until 2012 she was an art reviewer for Gazeta Wyborcza. She is currently preparing her doctoral dissertation at the Institute of Literary Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences.