In her work, Monika Zawadzki employs simplified and repetitive elements, sculptures modelled on pictograms and logotypes that resemble human or animal silhouettes devoid of individual features. Her areas of interest include anthropocentrism and the human species’ domination over other forms of life, as well as social exclusion and limitation of social rights resulting from a disproportionate access to material goods.
One example of work relating to these issues is the Beggar’s Monument – a parsimonious form, the result of the ability to use ellipsis and visual signs that affect the viewer’s imagination and emotions. It depicts a scaled up, standing leg and an outstretched arm in a pleading gesture. These two elements create a spatial form made of smooth black material, resembling a frozen in motion well crane or a semaphore. Thanks to its scale, the sculpture is like a statue of someone asking for help. It is a reminder of stark social inequalities that persist in the system in which we all live in. Perhaps no political or legal system ensures equal access to material goods, but this does not mean that it is not a call to help people facing difficult situations – especially when considerable inequalities threaten social cohesion.