Paulina Ołowska (born 1976 in Gdansk, Poland; lives and works in Rabka Zdroj and Krakow, Poland).
“The performance Alphabet, by Paulina Ołowksa, is inspired by Czech designer Karel Teige’s typographic book ABECEDA (which was published in Prague in 1926…). Referring to the poetics of typography and Eastern European avant-garde tradition, the work involves collaboration with other performers, who curve and stretch their bodies into 26 letters, from A to Z, to construct a new system for conveying meaning. The performance also includes the presentation of short poems by Josef Strau, Frances Stark, and Paulus Mazur. The physicality of text, writing, and the contexts in which words appear are all parts of Olowska’s poetics.”
—”Paulina Olowska. Alphabet. 2005/12,” Museum of Modern Art.
“Ołowska mocks the modernist paradigm of novelty by making use of repetition, a recurring gesture in her endeavors. She is nevertheless not afraid of nostalgia. On the contrary – she consciously uses it as a tool… Even the female figure in her Alphabet is, as Monika Szewczyk pointed out, a ‘new woman’ from the old times. Ołowska seems to approach the ideals from the past with suspicion and an analytical urge. In other words, she verifies whether we are correct in labelling them as utopian, and whether their failure was indeed a result of their ultimate unfeasibility. Hence, her nostalgia ceases to be purely about the past, but becomes a revived dream about the future.”
—Karol Sienkiewicz, “Alphabet – Paulina Ołowska,” trans. Anna Micińska, Culture.pl, December 2010.