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Datum | 12.06.2019, 17.00 h
Ort | Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien, Atelierhaus, Lehargasse 8, 1060 Wien, 1. OG Atelier Süd

Lecture by Anka Leśniak, Ph.D., artist and researcher, assistant professor at the Faculty of Sculpture and Intermedia of the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk (Poland). In 2019 she was awarded the OeAD Scholarship and currently she is an artist researcher at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Studio for Conceptual Art/Post-conceptual art practices.


Anka Leśniak, stillframe from the The Witch, 2016. Video taken during the exhibition The Better Half: Jewish Women Artists before 1938. Courtesy of Wien Museum and Jewish Museum in Vienna.


The presentation by Anka Leśniak will be a summary of her four-month research residency in Vienna on Teresa Feodorowna Ries (1874–1956), and in particular – her sculpture entitled The Witch (Die Hexe, 1895). Teresa Ries, a Russian woman sculptor of Jewish origin came to Vienna to develop her career as an artist. Despite the limitations imposed on her gender in that epoch, she became one of the most successful and recognized Viennese artists. She contributed to Austrian culture until she had to flee from Vienna, to save her life from the Nazis. Teresa Ries sculpture The Witch doing her toilette before the Witches Sabbath, exhibited in 1896 in Künstlerhaus, opened to the then 22 years old artist the door to her career. The figure of a young, naked sorceress cutting her toenails with the big scissors challenged the morality and aesthetic taste of conservative Viennese society and became both an object of admiration and insults.
Anka Leśniak is Polish contemporary artist, active in genres such as: installation, video-installation, video-art, performance art, performative painting. She graduated from Art History in the University of Lodz and the Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz in Poland. She was also awarded with a Scholarship of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Poland (2011) and next years she received grants from the Mayor of the city of Lodz (2015), from the city of Gdansk (2016). Artist in residence of KulturKontakt in Vienna (2016). In her art, she mainly focuses on the history of women and makes site-specific artworks. Most of her works is closely connected to the particular space or architecture, specifically with the use of abandoned houses or other features that have ceased to fulfil their former functions but for which a new use has not yet been found. She is interested in feminism, topics related to gender, body, ethnic identity, herstory, language and memory. She is an author of the cycles Body Printing, Top Models, Fading Traces, Women patRIOts, Invisible in Visible.