Monika Mausolf – Dendra

Monika Mausolf “Dendra”

Opening 6 November 2015

open till 29 November 2015


The title of Monika Mausolf’s exhibition, on display at Wozownia Art Gallery in Toruń – “Dendra” – refers to the main theme of her works, but also to her major inspirations. After all, she draws from texts of culture that are still relevant, including old fairy tales and fables, stories and myths of the past, mysterious legends. Searching and decoding, from scratch, the archetypes and toposes within them, frequently redefining and reconfiguring them, the artist conducts a creative de-construction of them. Moreover, one can discover that Monika Mausolf is fascinated with the dark, gloomy landscapes of the wooded Hesse, where she lives at the moment, and where the imagination of the Brothers Grimm used to be stimulated so vividly.

Other essential topics explored by the artist encompass: the contemporary (post)human condition, transhumanism, the reification and fragmentation of body in the context of mercantile reality, new sensuality, aporias of bioethics and finally – or perhaps most prominently – diversely interpreted feminist art, and more generally, activist, pro-social (pro-feminine, and simultaneously, pro-ecological and pro-pacifist) postmodern art.

The artist herself describes her output as follows: “I create paintings, drawings, objects. I work in cycles, using various techniques, experimenting with the form, structure, contour and color, by juggling with contexts, I seek a common ground for my actions”.

“Dendra” is not the first exhibition of Monika Mausolf’s at Wozownia. It is worth recalling her previous exposition, “From F.stories”, organized at the venue and this description of that display provided by Toruń’s “Ikar”: “Mausolf is ruthless (…). Her works are filled with atmosphere that suffocates with paradoxes and atrocities, full of drama and tension, but also of absurd humor, as if extracted from Topor’s short stories (…). What is more, the works relate to Wittgenstein’s idea of <conditioning> via the right socialization and the educational system which in contemporary culture is especially oppressive towards girls/women. Mausolf’s works have shown that the male gaze is actually neither omniscient nor omnipotent (…)” [Wesołowska 2012].

The artist returns to Wozownia with an equally radical, bold message, presenting the audience of Toruń with paintings (mostly oil on canvas), but also sculptures and her latest installations.

“Dendra” showcases works of intriguing, symptomatic titles, frequently based on wordplay, such as: “Uścisk” [Grip], “Tchnienie” [Breath], “(Za)słona” [Veil], “Busz” [Bush], “Korzenie” [Roots], “Matka Ziemia” [Mother Earth], “Symbioza” [Symbiosis], “Trans” [Trance], “Relikty” [Relics], “Źródło” [Source], “Jeleń” [Deer], “Psy” [Dogs], “W matni” [In the Trap], “Czerwony Kapturek” [Red Riding Hood], “Headless”, “Obieg” [Circulation], “Upsowienie” [Dogalization], “Boomerang”. Their subdued, cool, black and white or gray-blue color scheme is usually broken by intense, glossy, almost hypnotic red, bearing connotations of danger, fear, disease, suffering, pain, passing and death, but also of menstruation, maternity, femininity, fertility, cleansing, circulation, cycle – life. [autor of the text: Agata Wesołowska]