Sunday, 15 June 2014


Last week artist Zbigniew Libera (b. 1959) came to speak at Warsaw's MoMA for the opening of his work's free online archive. The enfant terrible of the Polish art world is known primarily for the controversies around his Lego concentration camp, and while photos of his work appeared on a large screen Libera spoke evasively about his time in prison in the early 80s (he'd been set up) and how he'd never decided to be an artist (the art world made him into one).

Curiously, none of these photos made it onto the screen during his talk. I unearthed them only after digging deep into the archives (have you ever used 'sexual organ' as a search term on a museum website?). 

Libera-Furniture Piece, 1985

Mannequins, 1985

They are Libera par excellence, combining unabashed exposure with a schoolboyish sense of 'wasn't-me'. The sun glasses, the little crochet napkin and the mannequin seemingly grabbing him all point to the same conclusion: The artist won't take responsibility for anything, not even his penis. Clearly then, neither should we. 

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