Female Ecological Artists and Their Harvests: Between Nature and Culture

By Magdalena Worłowska.

Published by The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

The development of biotechnology allows us to question the traditional dichotomy between nature and culture. The anthropocentric and hierarchical visions of the world seem to be no longer valid. Transcending the natural and cultural dualism concerns both ecologists and ecofeminist artists. This paper presents the chosen examples of performances of Polish artists Teresa Murak, Aleksandra Mańczak, and Cecylia Malik. The works of Mańczak from the series “Polish Walls” ironically play with the stereotypes regarding women and men, and analyse the process of creation of the myth of female and male characteristic features. Malik, in her equivocal action entitled “365 Trees,” which involved climbing trees, communes with nature and draws attention to particular species of trees as extremely important, meanwhile neglecting elements of our surroundings. She uses the trickster’s strategies, which in art history rarely have been analysed from a female perspective. The artists express problems that are the consequences of a lack of recognition of the female voice throughout history, which are inherently related to the lack of recognition of nature's voices. They position themselves with nature, going beyond the powerless inclusion in nature, and against the nature and culture dualism, and propose the aesthetic of responsibility and concern which is accessible to all. The aesthetic that is explored by each artist in their individual way, aware of their historical context and actively referring to it, is made as a conscious choice.

Keywords: Ecofeminism, Nature, Culture, Symbiotic Relations, Performances

The International Journal of Social, Political and Community Agendas in the Arts, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp.59-66. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 591.417KB).

Magdalena Worłowska

PhD Student, Institute of the History of Art, University of Wroclaw, Wrocław, Poland