Anna KALWAJTYS, Poland

Lives and works in Gdansk, Poland.

Anna Kalwajtys graduated from the Academies of Fine Arts in Gdansk and Poznan. While her main objective is ephemeral art, other fields of her activities are video-performance and object-installation art. Kalwajtys is also engaged in interdisciplinary and curatorial projects in the field of performative arts. In her artwork Kalwajtys focuses mainly on the relation between the artist and the viewer, the subject and the object of art, the artist and the work of art, the observer and the one observed. Her performances concern the issue of corporeality and human biology, the process of building cultural identity, excluding weaker individuals from the society, liminal situations in life.

She has taken part in numerous performance art festivals in Poland and other countries such as: Japan, Hong Kong, China, Canada, USA, France, Sweden, Holland, Germany and Greenland. In 2005 she graduated from the Faculty of Sculpture, the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk, and in 2007 from the Faculty of Intermedia Art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan. In 2006 she studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, Animation and New Media Department. In 2015 she obtained a PhD degree in visual arts for the piece “BBL Bios-Body Lab”realized under the supervision of Prof. Grzegorz Klaman.


Background information to Olympe
The performance was staged in front of the Parliament building of the Republic of Poland during the time of women ’ strike in 31 st October 2020. During the performance was she shouted out fragments from “The Declaration of the Rights of Woman and of the Female Citizen” written by Olympe de Gouges in 1789.


Man, are you capable of being fair? A woman is asking: at least you will allow her that right. Tell me? What gave you the sovereign right to oppress my sex? Your strength? Your talents? Observe the creator in his wisdom, examine nature in all its grandeur for you seem to wish to
get closer to it, and give me, if you dare, a pattern for this tyrannical power. Reconsider animals, consult the elements, study plants, finally, cast an eye over all the variations of all living organisms; yield to the evidence that I have given you: search, excavate and discover, if you can, sexual characteristics in the workings of nature: everywhere you will find them intermingled, everywhere cooperating harmoniously within this immortal masterpiece.

She states that "performance art questions certain aspects of the human condition in contemporary culture and the meaning of these factors in the construction of identity and of social transgression. I focus on the limitations of humanity by investigating the topics of social cannibalism, mutual social elimination, the exclusion of weaker individuals, repression, and isolation".

Anna Kalwajtys. Poland. Freeing the Mind. 7a*11d - International Festival of Performance Art. Toronto, Canada. 2012.