Zorka Wollny


"Song of Resistance," Video, 2014

The works of artist Zorka Wollny inhabit a space between art, theatre and contemporary music and are always closely connected to the historic and functional context of specific architectural sites. Wollny understands architecture not simply as a material figuration, but rather as a cognitive space dependent on movement, an expression of cultural conditions and a scene of performative interventions.


Following a critical interest in cultural codes, gestures  and structural modes of behaviour, which she observes, for instance, in the creation and also interpretation of art, or in environments of post-industrial work, she develops not only installations and videos, but frequently also choreographic live- performances and concerts. In the latter, she deploys feminist and deconstructivist approaches to explore the thresholds and superpositions of private, public, subjective and institutional spaces and narratives.

The production of Wollny’s projects is based on a collaborative procedure and is often accompanied by public rehearsals and workshops in which she creates structures of cooperation with individuals as well as groups and communities, such as composers, students, actors and activists. In one of her most recent works, "Ophelias. Iconography of Madness" (2012), presented at the Museum of Art in Łódź, Wollny staged a performance of eleven actresses, representing the figure of Ophelia as depicted in several historical theater productions of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. In "Oratorio for Orchestra and Warsaw Citizens Choir" (2011), developed for the Warsaw Autumn international festival of contemporary music, Wollny devises a concentrated, polyphonic manifestation in the city centre of Warsaw, that was produced in collaboration with NGO’s and the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and is based on the political manifestos and agendas of the participating activists. "Concert for High Heels" (2010) utilizes the female stride, the sound of high heels in all its (pop-)cultural, socio-aesthetic and metaphorical relevance for a focused presentation located at a former government building, literally making vibrate this architectonic embodiment of power.

"Song of Resistance" was filmed by Sinan Bayar, and produced by Arts Territory for the Jazz and Experimental Music from Poland Festival 2014.