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INK en Untitled (SMILE)

Monika Mamzeta


Monika’s family has lived with cancer for generations. In 2015 she had a mastectomy. A few years later, in 2020, she announced an international competition ‘Itsy-bitsy CANCER… leaves you with a SCAR’ for a tattoo design that would be made in place of the artist’s reconstructed breast. Among several dozen entries, the project designed by Maria Czarnecka (then a student of the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw) was selected. INK captures the moment of the tattooing.

INK (2021) constitutes a radicalisation of previous actions in which Mamzeta used a marker pen to draw marks on her body. A washable marker is now replaced with a permanent ink from a tattoo artist’s needle. It becomes a ritual that overcomes pain, bringing joy and liberation. 

Untitled (Smile)
This macrophotography belongs to a series of works in which the artist combines images of body parts and marks written on them. A scar on a woman’s womb is a graphic trace after a wound. With two dots marked with a pen, it forms a smile. The lightness of the image contrasts with the resilience and strength of the body that experienced pain. A static image becomes a playful gesture of embracing life in its various facets. 

‘Our body is an objective indicator of the transformations we experience. It is a form of recording time and history, not only of our lives, but also of the genotype that we inherit and to which we are in some way condemned. Monika Mamzeta shows us that the body can demand a voice and this voice must be given.

Mamzeta's work is based on a deep analysis of how our corporeality registers experience and its potential to manifest its history, uniqueness and break down taboos.’ 

- Agnieszka Wach


7 - 23 June: different opening hours

language & duration

  • English surtitles: English

  • Duration of performance unknown

  • Untitled [Smile], 2003