Works Back

From 2000


Natalia LL wrote the short text The Physicality of the Body – Birth according to the Body. Birth according to the Spirit. It than became the title of the series of her works based on the staged self-portraits. This text refers to her earlier texts such as A Word about the Body (1980), Body Art and Performance (1984), or The Theory of the Head (1991). In all these texts Natalia LL referred to the catholic interpretation of body and spirit relations. Here she states: „The mystery of incarnation shows the true essence of the body, which can be treated similarly in art. In the volatile artistic matter, the body becomes a sphere in which we touch the mystery of existence. Art casts a spell on, and Transfigures the body.”

Individual exhibition:
– The show of the triptych Panicky terror, Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź

Participation in exhibitions:
– „Transmission“, Instytut Kultury, Strassburg, France
– „2000 + Arteast Collection“, Museum of Modern Art, Lublana
– „Painting, Drawing, Graphics, Installation“, Bielskie Centrum Kultury, Bielsko–Biała
– „Selfportraits“, Galeria Grodzka BWA, Lublin


For the first time the works from the cycle entitled Freedom Birds (made since 1999) were exhibited. As Natalia LL wrote: „These are installations which consist of pastel drawings of birds – non– birds, steel racks lit by different sources of light, and series of documentary photographs showing me lying naked or dressed in a white suit and a gas mask on a crumpled white cloth.” Showing these works coincided with the series of terrorist actions in different countries and for the artist it was confirmation that Art is able to express some directions and potential of the events that are yet to come.

Participation in exhibitions:
– „Die Körperlichkeit des Körpers“, Galerie Pankow, Berlin
– „Body Corporality“, Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź’
(in both above exhibitions the works The Birth According to the Body / The Birth According to the Spirit were shown)
– „Attitudes – Peculiar Artist’s Aim“, Galeria Stara BWA, Lublin
– „Opened Book – The city of Hünfeld“, Galeria Awangarda BWA, Wrocław
– „Transgression – ein Fotografischer Discurs“, Künstlerhaus, Vienna
– „Genius Loci“, Muzeum Architektury, Wrocław (work from the series Freedom Birds consisting of a banner and installation)
– „International Collection of Contemporary Art“, Zamek Ujazdowski, Warszawa
– „2000 + Arteast Collection“, Congress Innsbruck


Participation in group exhibitions:
– „Around Decade – Polish Photography of 90s“, expositions in: Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź, Muzum Narodowe in Wrocław, Galeria Pusta GCK in Karowice (works from the series Freedom Birds)
– „Autonomous Conceptual Movement in Poland“, Galeria Stara BWA, Lublin (works from the series Consumer Art and others)
– „Biennale de Liege – Photographie et Arts Visuelles“, MAMAC, Liege
– „Person / Zeit / Raum – Fotografie aus Polen“, Museum für Moderne und zeitgenössiche Kunst Rupertinum, Salzburg
– Anniversary exhibition for 25 years of Mała Galeria, Mała Galeria ZPAF – CSW, Warszawa
– „2000 + Arteast collection, Art Gallery, Skopje


Individual exhibition:
– „Volucres Coeli“, Galeria Sztuki Wozownia, Toruń (works from the cycles: Heavenly Birds and Freedom Birds)
In the text for his exhibition Małgorzata Jankowska concluded: „The dominating motif of Volucres Coeli is the theme of masking which, in this case, is the act of liberating, and like art is connected with a search for freedom. This activity is not free from fear and the constant race against time and limitations of the body. However, as the artist writes, art is capable of rebuilding the dilapidated everyday activity into a wondrous structure of an artificial (artistic) reality. It is only in the reality of art that we become independent, free.“

Participation in exhibitions:
– „Zanikanie / La Disparition“, Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej – Zamek Ujazdowski, Warszawa
– „Around Decade – Polish Photography of 90s“, Galeria Bielska BWA, Bielsko– Biała (works from the cycle Freedom Birds)
– „Architectures of gender – Contemporary Women Art in Poland“, Sculpture Center, New York (installation Calamitas erotica)
– The Show of Polish Women Artists Films 1970 – 1980, Gallery of the Kitchen, New York
– „Collection 1998 – 2003“, Muzeum Narodowe, Wrocław
– „5th Triennale of Sacrum Art – Towards The Civilisation of Life“, Miejska Galeria Sztuki, Częstochowa
– „UH Galleries, Art and Design“, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield
Lech Lechowicz, commenting the last works of Natalia LL (Exit, no. 3, 2003), noticed, that they are dominated by masks (plaster casts of faces, gas masks), while earlier, the artist usually used directly the image of her own (although modified) face. In his opinion, hiding of the face, prevents a viewer from concentrating on what is individual.

An extensive interview of Krzysztof Jurecki with Natalia LL was published (in his anthology Word about Photography), explaining, among others, such aspects of Natalia LL creativity as her relations with international feminist movement or interest in mysticism. The artist indicated important aspects of feminism, as well as criticized some of its principles. Answering the question on her philosophical, literary and mystical inspirations, she said: “I think that writings of mystics are much closer to the essence of my art, because for me, art is kind of mystical experience.”


Individual exhibitions:
– „Ptaki wolności“ (Freedom Birds), Galeria w Hallu, Centrum Kultury i Sztuki, Kalisz (installation with a banner and drawings)
– „Podsumowania“ (Summaries), Galeria Bielska BWA, Bielsko–Biała
On the occasion of this exhibition, Bielska Gallery published bilingual anthology of Natalia LL’s texts, and articles about her creative output. There was also a symposium on artistic activities of Natalia LL. Adam Sobota, in his speech entitled Consumption Forecast (published in 2005), using the example of consumption category which often appears in Natalia LL artworks, showed how the artist transforms banal and material events into symbolic and transcendental facts.

Participation in exhibitions:
– „5th Triennale of Sacrum Art– Towards the Civilisation of Life“, Państwowa Galeria Sztuki in Sopot, and than shown in: Centrum Sztuki Galeria EL in Elbląg, Galeria Sztuki in Legnica, Wałbrzyska Galeria Sztuki Zamek Książ
– „La Disparition“, Hall de la Salle Multi, Quebec, Kanada
– „Labyrinth – 2004“, Galeria Stara BWA, Lublin
– „Wrocław Impressions“, Muzeum Narodowe, Wrocław
– Art Poznań 2004 – I Krajowe Targi Sztuki, Stary Browar, Poznań
– „Czarny kwadrat“ (Black Square), Galeria Arsenał, Białystok
– „Warszawa – Moskwa / Moskwa – Warszawa 1900–2000“, Galeria Zachęta, Warszawa
– „Ja – Inni. AUTO–portret fotografii“ (I – Others. SELF– portrait of Photography, Galeria Sztuki BWA, Jelenia Góra
– „Miejsca wspólne“ (Common Places), the exhibition of works by pedagogues teaching in ZSF of Art Academy in Poznań, Stary Browar, Poznań

Jan Kurowicki, in his essay Photogeny Game, devoted to creativity of Natalia LL, tries to characterize her through philosophically understood category of photogeny, which identifies certain unity of an image and viewer’s expectations. The use of photography and film causes entanglement in the phenomenon of photogeny, and the proof of Natalia LL artistic mastery is – as Jan Kurowicki writes – the fact, that she can consciously and precisely make use of photogeny. Photogeny becomes particularly intensive when it is connected with exposing of privacy. The artist plays with these elements, trying to reconstruct the lost sacrum of art. The author of the text, sees these trials equally heroic and tragic, because the decaying of sacrum element in culture he perceives as long– lasting and profound civilization process.


Individual exhibitions:
– „Consumer Art“, brot.undspiele galerie, Berlin (works from the cycles: Consumer Art, Postconsumer Art, Points of Support)
– „Całość części“ (The whole of the parts), Galeria Awangarda BWA, Wrocław

Participation in exhibitions:
– „Společna Mista“, Dúm Umĕni, Opava
– „Sculpture Azimuth – Collection of Sculpture Center in Orońsko“, Miejska Galeria Sztuki in Łodź
– „Egocentric, immoral, old– fashioned, – Contemporary images of artists“, Narodowa Galeria Sztuki Zachęta, Warszawa
– „Spiel 01“ (works of Kinga Dunikowski and Natalii LL’s Consumer art), brot.undspiele galerie, Berlin
– „Gemeinsame Orte – Kunst Aus Posen“, Automobil Forum, Berlin
– „Sygnał“ (Signal), Dolnośląska Zachęta, Muzeum Architektury we Wrocławiu
– „Ja – Inni, AUTO–portret fotografii“ (I–Others, SELF–portrait of Photography), Galeria Sztuki BWA w Jeleniej Górze. The next expositions were held in: FF Gallery in ŁÓdź, pf Gallery CK Zamek in Poznań, Art Gallery in Legnica, Center of Culture and Art in Wrocław.

On the occasion of this exhibition Wrocław branch of public TV made a film about the artist. Also, a DVD record was issued, containing selection of films, performances and artistic documentations of Natalia LL. On the initiative of Agata Smalcerz, director of Gallery BWA in Bielsko, during the exhibition, the succeeding book of the artist was issued (after anthology of texts published in Bielsko– Biała in 2004) entitled “Natalia LL: Dreams and Dreaming”. „The book „Natalia LL – Dreams and Dreaming” has very personal, literary form, because it is a diary composed of 68 dreams, which the artist had dreamt between 1957 – 2003. Specific graphic design of the book deepens the intimate character of this publication.

Until now, the subject of dreaming in Natalia LL output was present through sessions entitled “Dreaming” organized by Natalia LL since 1978 and documented on photographs and films. These activities aimed at turning the attention to correlations between different levels of consciousness, but recorded dreams published in this book make this problem more profound. These are not in details recreated dreams, but their consciously steered presentation. Dreams function here as medium, through which the artist, with a lot of freedom, can talk about personal and artistic subjects, joining them in almost unlimited way. Remembering of dreams is certainly motivated by the need of catching the meaning of such spontaneous experiences, but the respect to the complexity of their cause, does not allow Natalia LL on their univocal interpretation. She understands – and makes us understand – how vague is the border between dream and reality and that reality could be even more irrational.

These dreams descriptions could be compared to a journey through a maze constructed from two kinds of matter, and this journey embraces whole life.. Construction of the book could be even treated as a contemporary version of such literary genres, which in an allegorical way tries to express fate of a human being, describing events taking place entirely or partially in a dream. The example of it could be famous „Hypnoerotomachia Polifili”, the book published at the end of XV century, where the hero in a dream overcomes different obstacles to join his beloved, and stages of his journey symbolically correspond to determiners of human consciousness. Compared with this work, writings of Natalia LL and her sessions “Dreaming” make less consistent and more difficult to classify structure, but actually aim the same artistic goal: to suggest certain totally poetic vision of existence by means of determinants taken from everyday experiences of life.” (from the article of A. Sobota)


Individual exhibition:
– “Visionary Body”, 10th Kraków Photography Decade , Pauza Gallery, Kraków

Participation in exhibitions:
– „Collection 2000 Plus”, Muzeum Narodowe, Wrocław
– „Jeux Interdits – collection of Galeria Arsenał and Podlaskie Towarzystwo Zachęty Sztuk Pięknych, Institut Polonais, Paris
– „1st exhibition of Silesian collection of contemporary art.”, Katowice
– „Works from the Silesian collection of contemporary art.”, Instytut Polski, Düsseldorf
– „ZAMIESZKANIE, Ein deutsch – polnisches Project Sich Einrichten”, Motorenhalle, Dresden
– „KONTAKT … works from the collection of Erste Bank Group”, Museum Moderner Konst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna
– „…Let me have my lips wet in spring water… John Paul II – Rome Tryptych, part I, Spring”, Galeria Grodzka, Lublin
– „20th Century of polish photography from the collection of Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź”, Shoto Museum of Art. in Tokio, and than: Niigata City Art. Museum, Niigata
– „POWOŁANIE – regional collection of Zachęta Sztuki Współczesnej in Szczecin”, Galeria Sektor I, Górnośląskie Centrum Kultury, Katowice
– „Collection in the centre of events – the notion of modernity”, Lubelskie Towarzystwo Zachęty Sztuk Pięknych, Muzeum Lubelskie, Lublin
– „Wrocław Skyscrapers”, Muzeum Narodowe, Wrocław
– „Other Media”, Galeria Awangarda BWA, Wrocław
– „1, 2, 3… Avant-garde, Experiment, Film / Art. / Archive”, Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej – Zamek Ujazdowski, Warszawa
– „Begining – the collection of Warmińsko– Mazurskie Towarzystwo Zachęty Sztuk Pięknych in Olsztyn, Muzeum Warmii i Mazur, Olsztyn
– „Mit Macht zur Wahl. 100 Jahre Frauenwahirecht in Europa”, Frauen Museum, Bonn


Individual exhibitions:
– “Natalia LL”, Galeria Foto–Medium–Art, Kraków (works from the cycles: Velvet terror, Consumer Art, Postconsumer Art, Eroticicsm of terror)
– “Softness of a Touch”, BWA Gallery, Zielona Góra
– “Animal Art and not much known episode of Consumer Art”, Gallery 86, Łódź

Participation in group exhibitions:
– „KONTAKT Belgrade. Works from the collection of Erste Bank Group“, Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrad
– „COLLECTION – possessions of Galeria BWA in Lublin, Galeria Grodzka, Lublin
– „Time Signs – Silesian collection of contemporary art“, Galeria Arsenał, Białystok
– „Inspirations – Fascinations – Reflections“, Muzem Miejskie Wrocławia, Wrocław
– „IDENTITY – collection of Dolnośląskie Towarzystwo Zachęty Sztuk Pięknych“, Muzeum Architektury, Wrocław
– „FOTO – Aspekte Fotomedialekunst aus Polen“, Museum Kunst Palas, Düsseldorf
– „Fotografie, Nove media – fragment Slezské Umĕlecké Sbirky“, Instytut Polski, Prague
– „2 ou 3 choses que j’ignore d’elles“, 49 Nord Gest Frac Lorraine, Metz, Francja (works from the series Consumer Art)
– „Art collections of XX and XXI century. Sketch 1: Art and policy“, Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź – „Woman about woman“, Galeria Bielska BWA, Bielsko–Biała
– „Berliner Liste 07 – International Art Fair“, presentation made by Foto–Medium–Art Gallery of Kraków, artists: Codemanipulator, Kinga Dunikowski, Wincenty Dunikowski–Duniko, Natalia LL (Consumer Art)
– “POLNISCHE PHOTOKUNST der Siebziger Jahre” Galerie am Domplatz, Halle
– “CZAS ZAPAMIĘTANY – Mała Galeria 1977 – 2006” Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej, Zamek Ujazdowski, Warszawa
– “Polska Fotografia w XX wieku” Pałac Kultury i Nauki, Warszawa
– “30th Anniversary Show” Galeria Foto Medium Art, Kraków
– “Zatrute Źródło. Współczesna Sztuka Polska w Pejzażu Poromantycznym” Latvian National Museum of Art, Ryga
– “Fotografia – Historia i Sztuka. Wybór z kolekcji Muzeum Narodowego we Wrocławiu” Muzeum Narodowe we Wrocławiu

In the series „Fury hairiness” Natalia LL makes compositions using multiplied segments of her 30 years earlier works entitled “Animal Art”. These were photographic self-portraits made in a room where the artist covered her naked body with a fur. Now she uses only such segments of these photographs where the hair of a fur can be seen. Yet it seems that this is the way to reach the core of “Animal Art” sense. In both issues we see animal element as subordinated to human intellect, which shows its power through registration and arrangement modes. Yet the artist presents these records of spirit dominance over matter with irony, as manipulations in fact strengthen the animal element. In her new works views of fur segments are composed in such a way that they produce some geometrical patterns, yet it is only an imitation of true geometry. Only in 1990 in the series “Platonic Forms” Natalia LL, using human head shape, showed that geometry and biology are two separate domains. So when dealing with the problem of human and animal nature she plays a game between two extreme views. In one of them man (understood as a creative soul) is separated from nature seen as a mechanical repetition of phenomena.

On the other hand man can be seen as a part of “animal” mechanism of nature. Natalia LL seems to indicate that we alone make ourselves victims of mechanical procedures, as this is a product of our own mind. When we mechanically make abstractions from natural forms, we are not able to reach the essence of our consciousness, whereas such procedure with no reason limits the value of what we call the “animal sphere”.


Individual exhibitions:
– Natalia LL, Works from the series Fury hairiness and Consumption Art, Art New Media Gallery, Warsaw
– Natalia LL, BWA/ZPAF Photography Gallery, Kielce

Participation in group exhibitions:
– re.act.feminism, Akademie der Künste, Berlin
– Now! Artists of Foto-Medium-Art Gallery, Mazovian Centre of Contemporary Art Elektrownia, Radom
– Darkside, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Swiss
– 1, 2, 3… Avant-Gardes, Tate Modern Gallery, London
– Between matter and illusion, Labirynt 2 Gallery, Lublin
– For Natalia (‘Sędzia Główny’ Group and Karol Radziszewski), 86 Gallery, Łódź
– Dreamers and Witnesses. XXth Century Polish Photography, Month of Photography, Cracow
– Post-consumer Art – collection of Zachęta Sztuki Współczesnej, Szczecin
– Mit Macht zur Wahl -100 Jahre Frauenwahlrecht in Europa, Stadtmuseum Hofheim am Taunus, Hofheim
– Cutting realities – Gender Strategies in Art, Austrian Cultural Forum, New York
– Why there is always somewhere else, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe
– Mind Antipodes, Manhattan Gallery, Łódź
– Separation – XVIII Media Festival Man in dispersion, Cinematography Museum, Łódź
– Game Museum – Polish art after 1945, Wozownia Art Gallery, Toruń

In his text „Forms of Presence and Disguise in the Artistic Output of Natalia LL” (Artluk, 1/2008) Grzegorz Sztabiński states among others: “Although very often she presents herself in photographs and performances, and in installations she uses her image or letters of her name – in fact she simultaneously discloses and hides her identity. While operating with abundance of signs that refer to her, she plays a specific game based on exposing and disguising [….] In every type of her works Natalia LL unveils some aspect of her identity yet with a strong suggestion that this is only a part of the whole, maybe only just a simulation.”

Agata Smalcerz in her text Natalia LL – expression and creation (, nr 3, 2008) concludes, that creativity of Natalia LL is characterized by rendering the postulate of art intellectualization through her own body. The artist tries to tell us something about the structure of the universe through personal sensations in different aspects of existence (day-to-day life, eroticism, dream). Subordinating to rigours of this intuitively found structure – as States A. Smalcerz – arę also characteristic to numerous author’s texts of Natalia LL.


Individual exhibitions:
– Natalia LL, Opera Omnia 3. Energetic intimacy, Ego Gallery, Poznań
– Natalia LL, Opera Omnia II – Energy of Persona lity, brot.undspiele galerie, Berlin
– Gold Glan, award given to Natalia LL by Cinema-Galerie Charlie, Łódź

Participation in exhibitions:
– Awake and dream, Signum Foundation, Palazzo Doni, Venice
– The most true love stories. Allegories of love in contemporary Polish art, Muzeum Okręgowe, Bydgoszcz
– Silesian collection of contemporary art, BWA Bielska Gallery, Bielsko-Biała
– Presence and Depth – collection of BWA Gallery in Lublin, Grodzka Gallery, Lublin
– International collection of contemporary art – edition 5, Contemporary Art Centre, Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw
– Drawing deliberations, Grodzka Gallery – Labirynt 2 Gallery, Lublin
– Polish collectioners photography 5, Auction House Rempex, Warsaw
– From simulation towards new symbolization, aspects of photography in the beginning of XXI century, 6th Biennale of photography, Stary Browar, Poznań

Alicja Cichowicz in her text Natalia LL essay about a human being (Arteon, nr 5, 2009) analyzed creativity of Natalia LL in the context of her works from the circle Dreams of Brynhildr. She concluded, among others, that in this artistic aspect the legends about Nordic Gods is peculiarly transformed: ‘Mythical tragedy becomes attired in surreal-expressionist grotesque costume, human drama – tamed and devoid of pathos […] Natalia – mysta, performing specific cult of Osiris, or rather more of Dionisos, aspires to spiritual transformation and revival.’

Then Agnieszka Kwiecień in the article Natalia LL – to be inside the erotic grip between life and death (Exit, nr 3, 2009), concentrated on interpretation of her work from 1974, Natalia ist sex. The author states that the link between art and eroticism is the essence of all activity of Natalia LL, adding, that ‘never, however, her early reflections based on body art and its individual understanding were anachronistic. Today, they still confirm to be up to date and attractive.’ Still, referring to one of the newest circles of Natalia LL entitled Transfiguration of Odin, A. Kwiecień turns our attention to the change in the original sense of this myth. She writes: ‘We will not see Odin in unworldly glory. He is infinitely human. Only NATALIA attained the knowledge of his identity and is experiencing the opening on something entirely different and at the same time identical.’

text: Adam Sobota