Avec Plaisir. Art Scene of the mBank New Horizons Festival [+18]
This year, as part of the Artistic Scene of the mBank New Horizons IFF, we are presenting exhibitions in two BWA Wrocław galleries. The exhibition Avec Plaisir in Studio BWA Wrocław is devoted to the borderline of artistic practices and erotic sensibility associated with BDSM culture. The exhibition is for adults only.
Where does this subversive dimension of BDSM sensibility lie? The exhibition looks at the parallels between art and BDSM culture, in which imagination, visuality, performativity, object, symbol, so categories and concepts fundamental to artistic practices, play an important role. The two fields are also linked by a love of experimentation and exploration of phantasms that transcend the boundaries of everyday life. At the same time, we look for diverse, especially female and queer points of view in the paintings, objects, installations and films that make up the Avec Plaisir exhibition.
The curators Ewa Szabłowska and Stach Szabłowski were inspired by figure and work of the critic, writer and film director, who was one of the most important representatives of the so-called New Novel (nouveau roman), a trend that revolutionised literary narrative structures in the late 1950s and early 1960s. As a filmmaker, Robbe-Grillet was associated with the New Wave milieu. The director’s specific erotic imagination played no small part in the reception of Robbe-Grillet. Sadomasochistic fantasies, voyeuristic obsessions and compulsively recurring fetishes – leather, lace, chains, ropes, shiny metals and razor-sharp glass – occupy an important place in his films.
As the curators comment: We view the retrospective of Robbe-Grillet’s work as an opportunity for an exhibition reflecting on the artistic, as well as political, place that the erotic sensibility defined by the acronym BDSM occupies in the contemporary landscape. Thus, we are interested in the French director as a historical figure, participating creatively in the artistic, cultural and moral transformations of the second half of the 20th century – a free thinker who is part of the rich tradition of sadic reflection, developed by such authors as Bataille, Klossowski and Michel Foucault. At the same time, we see in him an author whose work sheds interesting light on the present. We pay special attention to the issue of eroticism, which for Robbe-Grillet was an area of fantasy, artistic creation, but also an allegory of the dialectic of submission and domination, suffering and pleasure, violence and freedom, which define the condition of modern society not only in the sexual sphere. – Ewa Szabłowska, Stach Szabłowski
In the paintings, objects, installations and films that create Avec Plaisir, we are looking to develop Robbe-Grillet’s free-thinking but unambiguously male heterosexual perspective towards more diverse, particularly female and queer, points of view. The context of the project is also the infiltration of BDSM elements into mass culture that we have seen in the last decade.
Trigger warning: the exhibition will present images for those aware of confrontation: drastic piercing elements and pornographic motifs.
Schedule of events at BWA Wrocław Art Scene of the mBank New Horizons Festival
21.07.2023, at 18:00 – 21:00 | opening of From within and performance at SIC! BWA Wrocław gallery
21.07.2022, 20:00-22:00 | opening of Avec Plaisir at Studio BWA Wrocław
22.07.2022, at 6 p.m. | a guided tour of the Avec Plaisir exhibition
26.07.2023, at 5 p.m. | a curator tour of the exhibition From within
24-27.07.2023, 18.00 | a guided tour of the exhibition Avec Plaisir
The Avec Plaisir exhibition at Studio BWA Wrocław will run until 22 October. Alain Robbe-Grillet’s retrospective at the mBank New Horizons Festival will take place from 20-30 July in Wrocław and a week longer online.
Artists: Viola Głowacka, Jan Możdżyński, Jack O’Brein, Zofia Pałucha, Jo Pollux, Grupa Sędzia Główny (Aleksandra Kubiak, Karolina Wiktor), Sebastian Winkler, Paweł Ponury Żukowski
Scenography: Fabien Lédé
Curators: Ewa Szabłowska, Stach Szabłowski
Production coordinator: Monika Muszyńska
Production: Cezary Wicher
Production team: Łukasz Bałaciński, Tomasz Koczoń, Michałczak, Bernard Balcerzak
Promotion: Agata Kalinowska, Żaneta Wańczyk
Visual identyfication: Piotr Srebro, Klementyna Epa
Partner: New Horizons Cinema
Organiser: New Horizons Association, BWA Wrocław Galleries of Contemporary Art