Magdalena Abakanowicz, „Androgyne (In tribute to Witkacy)”, 1984/1985, own technique, 115 x 172 x 95 cm
In 1985 Teatr Studio, then called Centrum Sztuki Studio Teatr – Galeria (Studio Art Centre – Gallery Theatre), was named after artist and writer Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz, and he’s kept it till now. The “Centre” has long since fallen out of the name, which is a good thing because Witkacy (as he’s commonly referred to), and centre are two notions that do not fit together. Witkacy is criticism, refusal, mockery. The Centre was a little eye in the head of cultural policy of the time, a programme, institution and organisation.
Witkacy, an artist forgotten in the initial period of the People’s Republic of Poland, returned to favour after 1956. All attempts to mould him into a monument have failed though. He simply can’t be deified, he was born already tarnished. In this sculpture Abakanowicz tried to get out of the trap of consecrating a monument to a person who loathed monuments. She created a sculpture about disposal. Disposing it on a wheelbarrow and taking it to the dump. The sculpture is called “Androgyne”, becoming the figure of the fate of every artist, male or female. The audience is just waiting: when will they fall off their plinth?