Ania Nowak

The first weeks of the isolation related to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic were accompanied by the introduction of personal gadgets for the new reality: facial masks and shields, and, at the entrance to closed spaces, also the smell of hand sanitizer. The pandemic has seen the public nervously following the recommendations and infection graphs as well as, increasingly, news reports revealing unexpectedly soon an escalation of indifference and abuses against individual citizens: slapping of fines on people protesting against the illegality of presidential elections, ignoring and disregarding of the postulates of those protesting from their balconies against new abortion-law restrictions, or, finally, patronizing and threatening of citizens who have displayed rainbow flags on their homes. Sexual prejudice and consent to hate speech in public debate have in recent years led to acts of violence directed against non-heteronormative citizens. What language should be used when such transgressions occur? Does individual protest have any real agency?

Ania Nowak’s To the Aching Parts! (Manifesto) is a kind of address, or speech, that becomes a mirror of, as the artist calls it, “difficult alliances and inner divisions within marginalized minorities.” Whose voice is able to pierce the silent indifference and break the control of the algorithms governing the windows of our browsers as they display images of reality? Ania Nowak refers to language, showing how an insult repeated many times becomes a catch-all, a curse loses its power and can thus be liberating. Going out with her manifesto into the space of one of Berlin’s parks, she repeats colloquial and disparaging terms for non-heteronormative persons: “fag,” “dyke” – heard today even more frequently than before the pandemic. Her statement seems self-referential, it is a voice demanding the recognition of her own subjectivity, or perhaps postulating for language to be disarmed in the face of a hard-to-define collectivity. The performance had its premiere at the Hebbel am Ufer in Berlin in 2019.

– Ania Nowak, To the Aching Parts! (Manifesto), performance

Thursday, 15 October, 7 pm

BWA Zielona Góra

Returning to… Subjective Narratives, talk with Aleksandra Kubiak, Maja A. Ngom, and Ania Nowak; moderated by Romuald Demidenko and Tomek Pawłowski Jarmołajew

intro: Boba Group

Friday, 15 October, 2 pm

Conference Room, Library of the University of Zielona Góra

Ania Nowak (b. 1983)’s expanded choreographic practice approaches vulnerability and desire as ways towards reimagining what bodies and language(-s of the future) can do. She develops formats such as live and video performance, performative exhibition and text. Nowak’s overall inquiry is into the political dimension of the body material and its immaterial aspects – affects, feelings and intuition – to think of new, embodied practices of care and companionship. She is especially interested in the latter when taking into account the unstable, transnational character of our life and work in the Western world today, the experience of ageing, sickness and grief, as well as, ethics of pleasure in times of climate and political urgency. Nowak’s works have been presented at Hebbel am Ufer, Sophiensaele and Akademie der Künste in Berlin; Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art and Nowy Teatr in Warsaw; Art Stations Foundation in Poznań, CAC Vilnius, ICK Amsterdam a.o. In 2025, together with a group of artists, cooks, and engineers, she will start research at the Punta Cana Biolocation Center. The end of the Nowak research project on the relationship between ecology and love is scheduled for 2033, and a new project addressing the end of the Internet for 2046.