Dismantling the Faculty of Law
4K video with sound
Polish with English subtitles
19 min 29 sec
Courtesy Galeria Miejska Arsenał, Poznań, Poland
The film reflects on the tool of law and how it shapes our lives, however unequally. Set as a close observation of the Faculty of Law in Poznań, where Lewandowska’s great grandfather taught for many years, the work explores his legacy and its moral foundations through a poetically scripted voice. While looking for an absent legislator, the female protagonist comes across material traces of the legal apparatus, as she navigates the physical coordinates of a “soulless” law with no one available to take responsibility or be held accountable. Questions and reflections on how the legal code is used to make certain events appear and disappear reverberate through the empty hallways, implicating the misuse of law as a source of violence. The search for tenderness signals the work’s commitment to a wider debate on the role of justice in a deeply divided world. As the impartiality of the law shows itself to be both utopian and cruel, her plea creates a longing for alternative measures through which justice can be served.
Marysia Lewandowska (b. 1955, Poland) has been exploring the public functions of archives, museums, and exhibitions. Recent projects include the Women’s Audio Archive (2009), Undoing Property? (with Laurel Ptak, 2013), It’s About Time at the 58th Art Biennale in Venice (2019), and Enthusiasts Archive (2019) at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. Her work has been exhibited at the Tate Modern (London), Moderna Museet (Stockholm), Muzeum Sztuki (Łódź), and Whitechapel Gallery (London). Solo exhibitions are forthcoming at the Gandy Gallery Bratislava (2021) and Galeria Arsenał, Poznań (2022). Lewandowska was Professor of Art in the Public Realm at Konstfack, Stockholm (2003–2013) and has been based in London since 1985.
Röda Sten Konsthall