Tomasz Szczuka: Maria Pinińska-Bereś. Figure in individual poetics (1993)

(The text was published in ephemera for the exhibition: Maria Pinińska-Bereś. Figure in individual poetics, Center of Polish Sculpture, Orońsko, July-August 1993)

While looking for a proper place for Maria Pinińska-Bereś’s art those who write about her, usually move between feminism and existentialism: between something transitory or fragile and certainty of a well composed piece. But one must ask whether “the between” is a proper place for this artist.

Even if her art is considered to be feminist, one must immediately agree with one reservation – there is some perversity in it. Thanks to that the artist distances herself from the trend forcing us to believe that there is a male and female art which she opposes as if the battle between the sexes were to take place also in the field of art. The feminists fall into traps set for men creating “female” works not just pieces of art. The division is dangerous, naturally only if one treats it seriously. Feminism makes the art lose its universal dimension by referring it only to what ironically may be described as “female-male” problems. The label of feminism is not necessary for Pinińska-Bereś.

Rejecting traditional sculptor’s materials like stone, wood and bronze which allow one to acquire some sense of certainty points to a different field of artistic penetration. Astounding softness of her pieces of sculpture makes one want to put them into one’s mouth as if to taste them and finally to wrench with one’s teeth in order to relieve their sexual tension with which they seem to pulsate from inside_ This, however, is not essential and after the first encounter already impossible. The artist’s works existing in its pink world intriguing, yet encouraging the spectator to touch, at the same time saying noli me tangere. Thus one has to circle them in concentration and look. Only look. After having calmed down one begins to sneer from the first impression.

The softness of the works does not mean that they lack durability. These pieces of sculpture are tender, susceptible to blows and require taking care of. In such a state of solicitude that is expected from the spectator one can display unselfishness allowing for contemplation of the work of art and enabling to question one’s identity.

The works of Pinińska-Bereś escape explicit names. One has to reject them in order to find a surrealistic dimension as this is the proper place for the artist. The fact that she uses her own pink and almost abstract form which almost always contains the human form linking her art to surrealism. The importance of captions being the constitutional element of her work makes them close to objet-poème as noticed by Leszek Danilczyk1see text by Leszek Danilczyk in the catalog of the exhibition by Maria Pinińska-Bereś at BWA in Sandomierz, 1992.. Subconscious content is being revealed by means of a majeutic method without making use of great number of literary cliches. This dialogue with the work of art is especially absorbing for the spectator. This is a peculiar theatre of remembrance full of archetype symbols which find their expression in the language of visual forms.

Translated by Małgorzata Zdybiewska

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    see text by Leszek Danilczyk in the catalog of the exhibition by Maria Pinińska-Bereś at BWA in Sandomierz, 1992.
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