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Weronika Perlowska

Sublime objects

In her work Sublime objects (2019), Weronika Perłowska investigates how political iconography is formed by reimagining the symbols on Polish national stamps. Deeply aware of the escalation of far-right ideology in Poland, she looks at the visuals that shape its national identity through a speculative lens. Her project questions the agenda of the visual image and asks whether it is possible to create a neutral image at all. 

Weronika Perłowska, Sublime Objects, 2019. Courtesy of the artist.

Weronika Perłowska, Sublime Objects, 2019. Courtesy of the artist.

In the last couple of years in Poland, visuality has become a significant part of the socio-political conflict. Images are used on posters and banners during marches and protests or as internet memes. A new iconology is emerging that is deepening the divide between “us and them”. National and religious symbols are printed on T-shirts, mugs and other everyday items as a manifestation of patriotism and pride. At the same time, anti-government activists have been prosecuted for the alleged profanation of these symbols, as in the case of a woman arrested over posters of Virgin Mary donning a rainbow-colored halo. Depending on the context, visuality may act in the service of ideology or be seen as its ironic mockery, but in the end no image is innocent.

Stamps are obvious examples of political iconography, visual indicators of official attitudes and policies, aimed at both domestic and international audiences. The artist combined the old backgrounds of Polish stamps with her own iconography, introducing new meaning into an older form. The works were printed by a ”personalized stamp service” offered by the Polish Post Office, and are now part of the official stamp selection.


Weronika Perłowska, Sublime Objects, 2019. Courtesy of the artist.

Weronika Perłowska is a visual artist based in Warsaw, who obtained a Master's degree in Photography from the University of Arts in Poznań. Her works have been exhibited both nationally and internationally, including at Athens Photo Festival (2020), Krakow Photomonth (2020), Circulation(s) Festival in Paris (2020), Ardesia Projects in Berlin (2019), the Lumix Festival in Hanover (2018). In her work, she combines photography, video and objects to manipulate images and symbols in order to scrub them of preconceptions and stereotypes.

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Based in Ljubljana, Slovenia, each issue is dedicated to a relevant topic in art and life. Founded to promote emerging artists, its goal is to initiate a dialogue, inspire collaborations, and challenge set views.