An Alliance with a Philistine

Sculpture by Iwona Demko “Damp Lady” at the Dramatic Theater, September 2022. Photo: Włodzimierz Wasyluk / Forum

Today the bohemian artist has powerful and wealthy patrons. They are recruited not only from among politicians but also oligarchs. Causing scandals – even mocking what is sacrum for Catholics – brings tangible gains. And the admiration for artistic transgression is sometimes a manifestation of contemporary priggishness.

The Dramatic Theater of the Capital City of Warsaw has new management. Director Monika Strzępka became the manager of this institution. Her appointment was more than a simple bureaucratic procedure. On August 31, 2022, a happening entitled “The Sabbath of Good Beginnings” was organized on Parade Square in Warsaw.

The culmination of this event was carrying the “Damp Lady” into the foyer of the Dramatic Theater – a sculpture by Iwona Demko, depicting a golden vagina. The action was a blasphemous parody of a Catholic procession.

There is no doubt that Strzępka’s artistic plans are heavily saturated with leftist or even extreme leftist ideology. They were presented in the programmatic concept prepared by the new director and published on the website of Warsaw City Hall. We read there, among other things: “The Dramatic Theater that I will create will become an open, social, democratic and ecological institution. Its program, built in cooperation with many institutions and communities, will use and strengthen the energy of social change, which is created by women’s protests, climate movements, people fighting for minority rights, human rights and democracy.”

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By Filip Memches

Translated by Nicholas Siekierski

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