Can You Die of a Broken Heart? is Ania Nowak’s solo exhibition comprising a video performance recorded at the Botanical Garden of the Polish Academy of Sciences, a live performance presented in the exhibition space only once and an installation consisting of a cage with two lovebirds looked after, over the duration of the project, by one of the employees of Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art.
Can You Die of a Broken Heart? is a reflection on the complicated relationships between the body, mind and environment. The artist is interested in disease as a state in which the border between norm and pathology is constantly negotiated and the identity of those affected becomes inflamed. Nowak also investigates the relationship between illness and time in sudden dysfunctions and chronic diseases, as defined by the dynamics of relapse and remission. The video and live performances explore the notion of the psychosomatic, i.e. the connections between physical and mental health; between individual pain and systemic oppression of late capitalism. By referencing Takotsubo syndrome, also known as the broken heart syndrome, medical and love language merge and expose their limitations in capturing acute, undiagnosed, psychosomatic states.
The exhibition was awarded second prize in the Project Room Awards, contest dedicated to young artists in Poland.