Androgynous and Soft: Non-normative Languages of Ania Nowak | Sosnowska | Polish Theatre Journal

ISSN 2451-2966


'Offering What We Don't Have to Those Who Don't Want It', concept: Ania Nowak, choreography and performance: Ania Nowak, Julia Rodriguez, Xenia Taniko Dwertmann, produced by Ania Nowak/ Sophiensaele Berlin. Photo: Alina Usurelu.
Agnieszka Sosnowska

Androgynous and Soft: Non-normative Languages of Ania Nowak


This article analyses works of Polish choreographer and performer Ania Nowak in perspective of non-normative strategies she develops in her performances. Starting point is the production Offering What We Don’t Have To Those Who Don’t Want It, in which on the one hand she follows Lacan's recognition of the nature of love, but on the other hand she consistently deconstructs it. It is not a coincidence, but a deliberate attack on the heteronormative structures on which psychoanalysis is built. In a broader perspective – an attempt to destabilise the binary categories which are foundation of Western philosophy, as well as the dominant ways of defining identity. I refer as well to other works of Nowak to reinforce the thesis that the artist does not demand greater visibility for sexual minorities, but simply projects lesbian love as another normative. In the other part of the text, I analyse the structure of Nowak’s performances by stressing its formal and minimal character and try to place it on the map of artistic practices of the 21st century.


Ania Nowak; Jacques Lacan; queer; conceptual choreography; drag; Micro-theatre

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Agnieszka Sosnowska

is a researcher and curator at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw. She teaches in the Institute of Polish Culture (University of Warsaw), where she defended her PhD dissertation. She’s interested in art practices at the intersection of visual and performing arts, as well as modern theories of theater, performativity,and ephemerality. Selected curatorial work includes Free Gestures exhibition by Ula Sickle and A Room and a Half  by Laura Lima at the Ujazdowski Castle CCA, the Lets Dance exhibition and performance project in the Art Station Foundation by Grażyna Kulczyk, Poznań (co-curated with Joanna Leśnierowska and Tomasz Plata, 2015); Vanishing Point exhibition in Ausstellungsraum Klingental, Basel (2014); the Polish-Swiss exhibition project Learning from Warsaw (co-curated with Nele Dechmann and Nico Ruffo, 2014) in Museum Baerengasse, Zurich.