My degree piece presents a corset. I have sewn it from the sheet on which I lay during my convalescence for a few months. The corset speaks of closure. I define this term on the basis of my own experience and the experience of persons suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Psyche is everyday reality permeated with tormenting and constantly recurring flashbacks to traumatic moments and the constant escape from the trauma from which affected persons cannot detach themselves. However, it is possible to change being immobilised within one narrow sphere of time and to build the balance between the past, present and the future.
Born 1995. Studies: Faculty of Sculpture of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw (2015–2020). Scholarship of the Rector of the Academy of Fine Arts (2017/18). Fields of artistic activity: sculpture, spatial installation, printmaking, graphic design. She completed an internship in the international graphics department of Westwing (2018). She participated in the open-air exhibition project At the crossroads of arts in Skierniewice (2020).
supervisor: Dr Paweł Mysera, Assoc. Prof.
‘It is a corset. I have sewn it from the sheet on which I lay during my convalescence.’ These words were said by Anna Kowalczyk during the defence of her degree piece. They reveal what the object closed between two glass panes is. Composed of pieces of cotton matter, suspended and spread out, it emerges out of the dark to rule over the indefiniteness of space in the darkness. Reflections of light, mirror images, translucent images and shadows cast on the floor release the area of emanation of the closed object. On the one hand, the corset is a tool for the subordination of the body incapacitated by a border situation. On the other hand, the transformation of the sheet – an authentic witness of suffering – into an intimate part of female clothing becomes an almost literal manifestation of the return to the world of the living here. Anna Kowalczyk’s corset appears to be a representation of conversion into the matter of power, and the mythological Psyche seems to be the patroness of unspoken words: ‘I am here. I have returned and I want to be happy.’