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Basic Social Unit Hierarchies

The project Basic Social Unit Hierarchies focuses on matriarchal and patriarchal elements within a basic social unit – a family. I study the distinction between these two models, based on my partner’s and my genealogical histories. I investigate the generational (three generations) and ethnographic (Polish and Canadian) differences and transformations regarding gender-imposed roles within studied families. I hope that the process, along with the installation - which is a culmination of my research - will, to some extent, elucidate my position and identity as a woman in my own family. 

The work consists of two pillars of printed cloth depicting the dynamics between matriarchal and patriarchal elements within my partner’s and my family. The catalyst for this project was my curiosity to find out how our different histories and experiences have impacted our understanding of our partnership in a domestic context. I want to be aware of any behavioral tendencies we both might have inherited into our home life. I hope for this piece to also inspire my audience to revisit the homes where they come from and to analyze how the domestic models that they have experienced influence their current relationships. 

Inspired by the 18th century Toile de Jouy, my pieces are printed on canvas in monochromatic blues and reds. The motifs of traditional Toile de Jouy depicted idyllic scenes of every-day life. My drawings of family life might seem to be pleasant at first, but after a closer look, they also show loneliness, neglect, boredom, and anxiety. 

title: Basic Social Unit Hierarchies

mediumsilkscreen printing on canvas

date: 2017 - 2021

dimension: each column 1.1m x 2.8m

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