Over the past twenty-five years, the prominent New York-based Polish artist Monika Weiss (b. 1964, Warsaw, Poland) has developed a transdisciplinary practice composed of sound, moving image, sculpture, performance and drawing. Recurring material and conceptual motives in Monika Weiss’ work include sonic space, water, the body, slow movement, doubling and gestures of lament, performed and choreographed in response to collective trauma. Her synesthetic art resists closure as it explores states of transformation and oscillates, as Mark McDonald (The Metropolitan Museum of Art) noted, “between proposal and presence, the allusive and the tangible”.
Weiss’ work has been featured in over 90 international solo and group exhibitions. It has been written about in numerous books and publications including The New York Times, ARTnews, and Art in America. Weiss’ solo museum exhibitions include the 2005 retrospective at the Lehman College Art Gallery (CUNY) Five Rivers, reviewed in The New York Times, as well as Sustenazo, commissioned by the Centre of Contemporary Art Zamek Ujazdowski in Warsaw, Poland (2010), later travelling to the Museum of Memory & Human Rights, Santiago, Chile (2012-2013) and the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum, Miami (2014). In 2004 Remy Toledo Gallery, New York, in cooperation with Galerie Samuel Lallouz, Montréal, organized a two-person exhibition of Carolee Schneemann and Monika Weiss. The artist’s works have been shown in group exhibitions alongside artists including Louise Bourgeois, Ana Mendieta, Mona Hatoum and Shirin Neshat, at venues such as Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Athens, Greece (international video art survey directed by Robert Storr, 2016); Eyebeam, New York (with Alan Sondheim, 2012), Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation/CIFO, Miami (Forms of Classification: Alternative Knowledge and Contemporary Art , 2006; The Prisoner’s Dilemma, 2008), Drawing Now: Between The Lines of Contemporary Art, Loughborough University, UK, and was part of Prague’s Muzeum Montanelli (MuMo) ’s inaugural show in 2010. Weiss’ recent sound installation Metamorphosis (2021) has been featured in a survey of Polish feminist art at A.I.R. Gallery, New York (2022) and reviewed by ARTnews.
In 2021 a new bi-lingual monograph Monika Weiss - Nirbhaya was published by The Centre of Polish Sculpture in Orońsko, with texts including feminist art historian Griselda Pollock, The Met curator Mark McDonald, and the acclaimed Indian American poet Meena Alexander. Other recent publications include a chapter in Guy Brett’s The Crossing of Innumerable Paths: Essays on Art (London: Ridinghouse, 2019). As part of The Metropolitan Museum of Art series Artists on Artworks, a 30 min. film with Monika Weiss speaking on her work and on the work of Goya, premiered in 2021. Since 2011 the artist divides her time between her New York studio and her professorship at Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, Washington University in St. Louis.
Devoted to forgotten victims of everyday gendered violence Weiss’ monument/antimonument Nirbhaya is planned to open in 2023 at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza, the Gateway to the United Nations in New York, for several months duration.
– Written by Katarzyna Falęcka
Ganna Berge, dancer and choreographer
Ganna founded Swan Lake Ballet Studio in May 2011. Starting at a young age, she began practicing classical ballet six hours a day, four days a week in Ukraine. She won first place in the festival Pearl of Crimea in Foros, Crimea. At 14, Ganna moved to the United States where she attended the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and performed with the Bay Area Houston Ballet Theater (BAHBT) in Houston, TX. She received the Graded Division Award and Certificate for successfully completing skill level three in the art of ballet in May 2003. After relocating to Wisconsin, Ganna volunteered for the Boys and Girls Club of the Greater Chippewa Valley in 2007 to organize the program Move It. While attending University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, she participated with the Concert Dance Company where she choreographed and danced classical ballet. Ganna earned a Master in Education with a dance Minor degree from the UWEC. She teaches at UW-Stout and at Swan Lake Ballet Studio after graduation.
Ganna Ensemble & Swan Lake Ballet Studio
Swan Lake Ballet Studio brings the community new opportunities to see the beauty of classical ballet by performing at the Downtown Eau Claire community International Fall Festival and more! Students learn dance choreography and perform at local festivals.
Schola Cantorum of Eau Claire
Schola Cantorum of Eau Claire is a 12-voice chamber ensemble in the Eau Claire and Chippewa Valley area dedicated to the historically informed performance of a cappella vocal music of the medieval, renaissance, and baroque.
Founded in fall of 2014, Schola has been presenting two programs per year, with themes ranging from the sacred to the profane. Besides performing in Eau Claire, Menomonie, and Chippewa Falls, the ensemble has been invited to sing for the Madison Diocese, and featured at the Madison Early Music Festival and Wisconsin Choral Directors Association Winter Conference.