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Born in Żywiec in 1937 Natalia LL studied at the State High School of Fine Arts in Wroclaw. Her works of art have been exhibited in important galleries in Poland and abroad, together with some of the most important body artists and performers, such as Marina Abramovic, Gina Pane, Anette Messager, Stephanie Oursler, Suzanne Santoro, Carolee Schneemann, Noemi Midan, Suzy Lake, and Orlan in institutions such as the Paris Biennale, the Sao Paulo Biennial of Contemporary Art, and the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.
Galleria upp in Venice is pleased to present The Grammar of The Body, a solo exhibition by Natalia LL (Żywiec, 1937), the 1970s icon of Polish feminism. Thanks to her expressive audacity and the work of PERMAFO Gallery – a space for exhibitions and reflection on the theory/practice of conceptual art which she cofounded in Wroclaw in 1970 – Natalia has made a major contribution to today’s international and Polish art, of which she is an exceptional example. Moving between concept and body art making use of anonymous and ambiguous notation supports such as photography and video, Natalia has taken an active role in the feminist lines of the Polish avant-garde.
Through the penetration of the subject/object body, Natalia Lach-Lachowicz develops visual archives and photographic series that are radical and direct consequences of an artistic approach built around a forceful feminist personality. Registering a state means, above all, describing relationships and transmitting women’s resistance, power, and infinite nobleness, revealed now as sexually active women. With irony and spontaneity, Natalia LL records and classifies ordinary attitudes and behavior, turning them into new, absolute semantic and morphological structures of signs, making it possible to create and clarify new expressive meanings and focal points. By introducing minimal changes in the structure of signs, she opens artistic perception to the linguistic-grammatical parameters of art itself. Formal appearance and substance collide. Natalia LL’s visual code is built on oppositions.
In a civil society based on goods, commoditization, and mass production, the body – and sex – with its unique gestures, tics, and spasms of pleasure is a stimulating microcosm in which individual subjectivity can be defined as well as a means through which female sexuality achieves a social and political perspective. In this way, the provocative photographic series Post-Consumer Art (1975) and Animal Art (1977) – shown with some of the latest vintage photographs still on the market at the exhibition opening on Tuesday 28 May 2013 at 6.30 p.m. – reveal their erotic power and stand in favor of the feminist movement and against the Soviet Union and the deeply patriarchal society of the Communist regime. The nudity exhibited and emphasized by the presence of a fur coat as well as the unequivocal sexual implication of common gestures performed by young women (eating a banana, a hot-dog, or some jelly) are courageous representations of the consumption of the capitalist system, then posed to create a new supply-demand regime in Eastern Europe.
Upp gallery opened in Venice on Giudecca island in June 2009 with the intention to work primarily with young and international artists, trying to explore the variety and the complexity of contemporary artistic production, and contemplating also very different research paths. The gallery program alternates projects ranging for performance to painting, from installation to photography, dealing with social ethic dimensions to more isolated, intimate, and personal positions.
Galleria Upp, Giudecca 282 30133 Venezia
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