“The Four Elements”

Panstwowa Galeria Sztuki

This exhibition drew loosely on Jungian archetypes and more directly on Gaston Bachelard’s observation that “the realm of the imaginary is ruled by four elements and that, accordingly, one can distinguish four types of material imagination that correspond to fire, air, water, or earth.” Interpreting the theory of this French philosopher rather freely and extending it to the plastic arts, Kinga Kawalerowicz curated this show based on the idea that “the works of women reflect a particularly strong conviction of the magical and mythical foundation of culture as well as a special sensitivity to the connection between our existence and the biological rhythms of Nature.” Though perhaps surprisingly archaic to many Western readers, this approach accurately reflects feminist discussions in Poland, which, after years of infrequent exchange with the West, have only begun to move beyond a simple

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