Małgorzata Markiewicz, Open Departments – Closed Departments , group exhibition, Central Museum of Textiles, Łódz, 5 November 2020 – 30 September 2021

The exhibition “Open Departments / Closed Departments” organized at the Central Museum of Textiles in Łódz celebrates the 60th anniversary of the institution’s establishment. The exhibition aims to deconstruct the canonical idea of a museum as a closed institution, dedicated to catalogue and research the past and show it instead as a structure open to interpretation.


Invited to co-curate the exhibition, Małgorzata Markiewicz examined the history of the institution from the perspective of her own artistic practice and presented double tapestries made by weavers from the Podlasie region as well as her own work. Markiewicz imagined Medusa’s crocheted body to celebrate women’s creative power, her-stories and women’s speech disrupting the heteropatriarchal language formations specific in Polish language.


When I was thinking about the whole of my project, I heard quotes from Helene Cixous’s text “The Laughter of Medusa”, about centuries of displacing women from the mainstream, from history, from text, about depriving them of the right to speak, about the dominant shame of women that inhibited them against the explosion of emotions, words, passions and self-expression.

My attention was drawn to the fact that textiles and weaving in Poland are very feminized fields, and yet the texts contained in CMWŁ publications, written about women artists and museum employees, lack feminatives.
[…] One of the activities that I proposed as part of the jubilee exhibition is the introduction of female forms of names of functions performed in the museum by women.

Małgorzata Markiewicz


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