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SHAME is a sculpture in the shape of a ball resting on an aluminium frame covered with duck and goose feathers. At close range, however, one can see and smell that there is tar underneath the feathers. This combination of materials transports us into the past, when tarring and feathering was not just a form of public torture, but above all a humiliating and degrading punishment. The artist, also active as an anti-violence and women’s rights activist, often employs unusual materials and media that create a characteristic language, where personal emotions and public attitude build a unique, multi-layered conglomerate of meanings. Janin’s work was inspired by Joanna Krakowska’s text, Entartete Kunst, about a fictitious algorithm called ‘SHAME, which allows uncovering, with the help of mathematics, the relationship between the level of democracy with a state and the function of decisions made in relation to contemporary art. 

Apart from social attitudes towards art and the notion of community, Janin encrypts in this sculpture the functions of the internet – a contemporary tool of scorn, anonymous accusations, data and images theft, and all other forms of cyberbullying, which gives a global dimension to humiliation.

  • Object type:
    sculpture (metal, feathers, tar, aluminium, polyurethane film)
  • Year:
    2016
  • Dimensions:
    diameter 150 cm
  • inv. no.:
    MNG/NOMUS/10/D
  • Własność:
    Deposit of the City of Gdańsk, part of the Gdańsk Collection of Contemporary Art
Zuzanna Janin, SHAME, 2016. Depozyt Gminy Miasta Gdańska w ramach Gdańskiej Kolekcji Sztuki Współczesnej, fot. © Archiwum MNG
fot. © Archiwum MNG
  • Object type:
    sculpture (metal, feathers, tar, aluminium, polyurethane film)
  • Year:
    2016
  • Dimensions:
    diameter 150 cm
  • inv. no.:
    MNG/NOMUS/10/D
  • Własność:
    Deposit of the City of Gdańsk, part of the Gdańsk Collection of Contemporary Art

SHAME is a sculpture in the shape of a ball resting on an aluminium frame covered with duck and goose feathers. At close range, however, one can see and smell that there is tar underneath the feathers. This combination of materials transports us into the past, when tarring and feathering was not just a form of public torture, but above all a humiliating and degrading punishment. The artist, also active as an anti-violence and women’s rights activist, often employs unusual materials and media that create a characteristic language, where personal emotions and public attitude build a unique, multi-layered conglomerate of meanings. Janin’s work was inspired by Joanna Krakowska’s text, Entartete Kunst, about a fictitious algorithm called ‘SHAME, which allows uncovering, with the help of mathematics, the relationship between the level of democracy with a state and the function of decisions made in relation to contemporary art. 

Apart from social attitudes towards art and the notion of community, Janin encrypts in this sculpture the functions of the internet – a contemporary tool of scorn, anonymous accusations, data and images theft, and all other forms of cyberbullying, which gives a global dimension to humiliation.

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