Original Sin (video installation)

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Date: 1993

Region: Europe

Subject: Explicit Sexuality, Nudity, Religion

Medium: Film Video, Photography, Installation


Artist: Alicja Zebrowska

Confronting Bodies: Polish government, religious groups in Poland

Dates of Action:1993

Location: Poland

Description of Artwork: Original Sin is a video installation that confronts the viewer with unidealized sexuality. Female anatomy, sexuality, and religious views of women are commented on in this piece. The title itself draws the comparison between the religious view of women and the unidealized female anatomy. The footage includes close-ups of a vagina, a hand job, masturbation with a dildo, and medical irrigation of the vagina. The film was screened inside a room saturated with an apple aroma. It starts with the artist herself eating an apple and ends with a woman in labor giving birth to a Barbie doll--alluding to modern day Poland.

The Incident: When the first piece, Zebrowska's Original Sin, was exhibited in 1993 there was an outcry of opposition.

Results of Incident:In 1993 a concordat between the Vatican and the Polish government helped to further weaken the separation between church and state. In addition, a very restrictive anti-abortion bill was passed that year. Because of the political climate at the time Zebrowska's piece was not shown in any state-owned art institutions.

Source: Article "Feminist Revolt: Censorship of Women's Art In Poland" by Pawel Leszkowicz, published in Bad Subjects http://bad.eserver.org/reviews/2005/leskowicz.html