In the video series, Baumgart inserted herself into old films, such as classical, Russian war movie from 50’s: The Cranes Are Flying by Michail Kalatozov and Polisch comedy: Bear by Stanislaw Bareja. The True? cycle develops three narratives that persist throughout Baumgart's work. The first is directly concerned with the questions of identity. Who is this person that call oneself? Who emerges when you remove the mask of cultural convention? The second narrative is concerned with 'surrogate' lives, of taking on other people's roles, manufactured or promoted by the culture industry (...). The third narrative addresses absent voices, those marginalised by society.' (Ryszard Kluszczynski) See the video on the Warsaw's Museum of modern art website
Ecstatics, Hysterics and Other Saintly Ladies (2004) is a story of self-aggression, female fears of loneliness, lack of acceptance, intimate rituals carried out at home. The video was shown at an exhibition Global Feminisms at Brooklyn Museum NYC in 2007. 'I’m tempted by the possibility of redefining the notion of ‘hysteria’, the transformation from an offensive epithet into a compliment. For me hysterics sounds interesting, it’s a synonym of a creative approach of women to the world, a rebellious or even revolutionary stance. Something that feminism has already discovered and analysed on the basis of the 19th century hysteria – it’s a sort of self-art – it has never been accepted in the social consciousness.' (Anna Baumgart) See the video on the Warsaw's Museum of modern art website
Anna Baumgart’s film project was created for the exhibition at the Art Centre in Falstad, Norway – location of a German concentration camp during the Second World War. Mostly Russians, Serbs and Poles were detained there. Baumgart’s film merges the style of a documentary, para-theatrical staging and a record of Hellinger’s Constellations. The video Fresh Cherries pertains primarily to the phenomenon of stigmatisation and hierarchisation of the victims of the Second World War, which shapes the image of the war in the eyes of the younger generation. The tabooisation of prostitution at concentration camps as forced labour is based primarily on the common conviction concerning the “voluntary” character of the choice of women recruited to Sonderbau (the camp public house, also known as “puff”). In the post-war discourse, discrimination of women forced to become prostitutes was common and consisted in depriving them of the victim status. The suffering of those women did not come to an end the moment the camp was liberated – in many cases they were completely “eradicated” from common consciousness. From a broader perspective, Baumgart’s work also pertains to the phenomenon of trauma and ways of dealing with it. Go here to read more See the video on the Warsaw's Museum of modern art website
The video was made specifically for the exhibition My Mother Is Not Holy (Bunkier Sztuki, Cracow, 2008, curators: Anka Sasnal, Martyna Sztaba) inspired by Piece on Mother and Motherland by Bożena Keff. The work revolves around the dance of two women – both in white dresses. They alternately pull closer and push away one another. This brings to mind a struggle of two bodies that are both willing to dominate. Baumgart presents the scenes of combatting traumas, impotence, one’s own shadow and the past. See the video on the Warsaw's Museum of modern art website
The film is a visual essay about an impossible journey, not completed or made through someone else. The project examines to what extent the story of Miczika, the Evenian guide and Maria Antonina Czaplicka – the Polish anthropologist, is a universal story about power relations influencing how we view the world. In my visual essay, Maria puts on a paper mask of "modernity" to protect her in contact with another culture. It was modernity, represented by Czaplicka in those territories, that brought violence - including educational violence - in the peoples of Siberia. The great project of modernism took away their agency and administrative power, and forbade them to cultivate shamanism. (Anna Baumgart) Go here to read more
Born in 1966 in Wrocław, Poland, Anna Baumgart is a multimedia artist who represents a feminist perspective focused on personal, often hidden, problems and obsessions, also delving into the subject of the “Other”. She works in video, installation, performance, sculpture, and artistic tattoo.
In 1994 Baumgart graduated from the department of sculpture of the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk. In 1995 she received the Award of the City of Gdańsk for the Most Interesting Debut. In the 1990s she collaborated with the most important centers of the Polish artistic scene: Wyspa Gallery, Spichż 7 Gallery, Baltic Cultural Center and CCA Łaźnia. Baumgart has taken part in the most important shows of Polish art at home and abroad. In 2004 Zachęta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw organised her exhibition in tandem with Birgit Brenner. She has received stipends from Fundacja Kultury (2001) and the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (2005). She was awarded the First Prize at LOOP festival in Barcelona in 2011 for her video Fresh Cherries. Baumgart’s works are in the collections of Zachęta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw, the Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts in Lublin, Museum of Art in Frankfurt a/M, and in private collections.