Between Kitchen and Gallery: Somaesthetics and Social Critique in Elzbieta Jablonska’s Work

Elzbieta Jablonska is one of the leading artists in Poland. She has made a name for herself by producing a series of large-format photos titled “Supermother.” She plays with conventions and stereotypes concerning women’s position in the contemporary, but still deeply traditional, society. The source of her work is everyday routine which Jablonska tries to domesticate and to see its beauty. Her art is helpful to survive monotony and intrusive nature of the everyday duties. Very often in her works the body, and in particular its discomfort in the maladjusted space, was the chief vehicle of meaning. Therefore I use Richard Shusterman’s concept of somaesthetics to shed some light on mechanism of social critique in Jablonska’s works.

Dorota Koczanowicz, Ph.D., teaches aesthetics and history of art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Wroclaw, Poland. She has authored Doświadczenie sztuki, sztuka życia: Wymiary estetyki pragmatycznej [The Experience of Art and the Art of Living: Dimensions of Pragmatist Aesthetics]. She also co-edited Między estetyzacją a emancypacją. Praktyki artystyczne w przestrzeni publicznej [Between Aesthetisation and Emancipation.Artistic Practices in Public Sphere]. She did research in John F. Kennedy Institute in Berlin and in Norway at The Wittgenstein Archives at the University of Bergen (WAB). Currently she is working on a book about food in contemporary art and culture.