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The work “Self Identification” epitomizes Ewa Partum’s artistic approach after 15 years of her feminist praxis. The public space operates as the prime signifier for the artist’s actions. Instead of appearing in public herself, however, Partum arranges collages with cutouts of her own naked body. The 16-part photo work shows various places and situations in Warsaw. Although fictional in its construction, the showing of particular parts (such as the artist’s posing in front of the Polish government building) was censored at the time. Partum reveals the bleakness of life in public and the routine actions people perform. The most provoking of the photos shows the artist facing a policewoman. For Partum, the series was an important tool with which to hint at the absence of women in public perception and the absence of female art in general, which one of her first works already entails. Bereft of sexual connotations, the naked body was introduced simply to form a piece of art identifying the female self and the self of the artist.


  • Artist: Ewa Partum
  • Original Title: Samoidentyfikacja
  • English Title: Self-Identification
  • Year: 1980
  • Material: 16 b&w photocollages
  • Dimensions: Original Size: 40 x 50 cm (15 3/4 x 19 11/16 in.) Framed: 47 × 56 cm (18 1/2 × 22 1/16 in.)
  • Inventory no.: K423
  • Category: collage
Parts of Work