Joanna Pawlik, fot. Ewa Kalat

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17. Joanna Pawlik, Stairs. Gdańsk-Siedlce, 2019


video, 9’30’’

The video presented as part of NARRACJE and made specially for the festival is a follow-up to a series the artist started back in 2013. The common feature of works forming part of Stairs – shot in locations as diverse as staircases, parks or a mine – is the repeated image of the artist going up steps on one leg.

For people with mobility issues, stairs represent an architectural barrier that hinders their contact with public spaces. For the artist, they symbolize an obstacle on her path to the top – they simultaneously fascinate her and command respect. In her project, Joanna Pawlik explores the possibilities and limitations of a human body affected with a disability. In the series of films, the artist documents her attempts at completing an extreme task: climbing to the top in spite of physical limitations – a missing limb.

The film presented during NARRACJE was shot in Siedlce, making use of the varied lie of the land. Each of the recorded locations represents a different challenge, brought together by the person of the climber and her manner of crossing obstacles – on her hands and one leg.


Joanna Pawlik is a visual artist who works with painting, drawing, object art, photography and video. She graduated from the Faculty of Painting of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków. Her art oscillates between the social mechanisms of exclusion and personal spaces of feeling. Pawlik has won a number of awards, mentions of honour and scholarships, including the 2019 “Placówka” competition organized by the Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute. Her works have been shown at various solo and group exhibitions.



On the hillsides

Siedlce is situated in the valley of the Siedlce Brook. From the north, the district rises towards Gypsy Hill (a misnomer: its correct name is Suchańska rather than Cygańska Góra). Leading to it are two ravines that used to be referred to as the Great Ravine (Skarpowa St.) and Small Ravine (Wyczółkowskiego St.).

In the olden days, some of the local hills had their own names: for instance, Fate Hill (Góra Losu) was located near today’s Legnicka St., while Silver Hill (Srebrna Góra) was the elevation near Ojcowska St. The longest-surviving name is Winnik (Winna Góra, or Vine Hill), which referred to viniculture in the area that dates back to the Middle Ages.

See on map

17. Joanna Pawlik, Stairs. Gdańsk-Siedlce, 2019

green area near the flight of stairs on 24A Leona Wyczółkowskiego St.

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Narracje 11

Narracje 11