“Mama” is the latest series of photographs by Aneta Grzeszykowska, which presents her daughter in the activities with silicone sculpture-doll – a hyper-realistic image of the head and body of her mother-artist. Photographs – colorful archival and black and white prints, original barite prints – are arranged in sequences of events – the scene of burial of the title sculpture in the garden begins and ends the series. This seductive and on many levels disturbing story is characteristic for the artist and reminds of her previous (and probably also future) projects. This corresponds with the dynamics of human life in which successive events arise from one another. “Art is a process shaped by life – not the other way around,” says the artist. “Mama” takes as its starting point one of the fundamental social relations – the relationship of mother and daughter. Grzeszykowska creates a poignant camera performance in which her daughter animates the sculptural image of her mother. In this way, classical roles are reversed, here we observe the child in the causative role. The mother becomes a doll, and the artist passes her role to her daughter – giving over her own qualities, temptations and creative ambitions.
This scenario launches a range of cultural and visual associations, from the fetishistic figure of the woman/doll, through psychoanalysis and surrealism, performance of the artist’s own body as an image, object and sculpture, to a feminist re-examination of the agency of the woman/mother. As in earlier works by Grzeszykowska, her discomposed body is a metaphor for absence, escape from the body as the “packaging of life,” and another chapter in a tale of vanishing. The artist remains loyal to the treatment of art as a field of existential experiences. With her work she also alludes to the call by the philosopher Luce Irigaray, which on the artist’s lips sounds like a self-fulfilling promise: “Our daughters must symbolically bury our experience in order to create a new situation for women.”