Working. Not Working
A domestic device
With a touch of muscle power
Fed by flesh and blood,
Or the ambivalence
Of a hybrid machine-body
Under the gleaming shell
And its captivating colors,
Amongst nails and nuts,
The workings of society
And its binary structures,
Hides the dirt of the world
Spinning, round and round
Like an antediluvian dance
Spreading traces of the everyday labor
Like a whirlwind of facts and confusions
An empire of signs
Who keeps a hand on the hose?
Or the hammer?
Does it wear sparkling red nail polish?
Or is it stained with dirt?
Women’s games. Men’s plays
In the internal chamber of the device
From the depths of the earth
A giggle resounds
The satyr is at work
Abusing his prey,
Whilst a flower of self-love
Blossoms through the last rays of light
“The devil as ever is in the details”
Poem and curation by Lucile Bouvard
Wera Bet perceives the world analytically and unpacks its hidden parabolic meanings. Her works trace how (mis)information spreads, sprouting through concealed networks of knowledge and figuration. Bet questions what is a fluid understanding of various forms of sexual identity and desire, in doing so, she opens a conversation about gender categorization as instruments of generating and maintaining power. Her focus draws on sociological and aesthetic strategies that question the legitimacy of concepts that define what is masculine and feminine and how we perform these gender roles in society and how the public expects us to conform to these roles. Her practice is firmly rooted in so-called “Polishness”, which refers to Polish culture, history, language.
Wera Bet was born in Bydgoszcz (Poland) in 1987 and works and lives in Berlin and Bydgoszcz.
She studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk (2007-2009), as well as at the University of Fine Arts in Poznan (2009-2012). She was a guest student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw in the class of Miroslaw Balka with a profile on sculpture, installations and performance (2012). In 2013, she was nominated among the most interesting and promising painters of the young generation in Poland in the Geppert Prize.
Wera Bet solo projects and exhibitions include ChertLüdde books, Berlin (2022); I want you but I want you to want me, Grzegorzki Shows, Berlin (2021); Wake up, Wake up Holiday, Zona of Sztuki Aktualnej, Szczecin (2018). Her works have been shown at: Survival Festival 19, Wroclaw (2019); a4 Art Museum Luxelakes, Chengdu (2020); Museum of Modern Art (online), Warsaw (2020); Project Space Zacheta, Warsaw (2014).
She curated a solo exhibition of Cristina Ferreira-Szwarc at KVOST, Berlin in 2021.
Photos: Trevor Good & Jerzy Goliszewski