Roe v. Wade
Screening of film by Cathy Beckerman and Nick Loeb and discussion
- The struggle for recognizing abortion as a legal medical procedure and treating it as a so-called reproductive right has continued for over a century. Conflicting visions of humanity and the protection of human life have clashed here. Artists and cultural institutions have been part of this struggle for several decades. In one of the first pro-abortion artistic campaigns in Poland, carried out in 1991 under the auspices of the newly founded Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, American artist Barbara Kruger’s pro-abortion poster Your Body Is a Battleground was put up in the streets of Warsaw. A pro-abortion exhibition is currently on show at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, its title, Who Will Write the History of Tears, borrowed from a work by Kruger. An artist involved in defending the 1973 US Supreme Court Decision that legalized abortion, Kruger has become for Polish artists an icon of the pro-abortion movement.
However, pro-abortion campaigns, artistic projects, discussions, and exhibitions seldom take into account the position of those persons involved in the legalization of abortion in the US, including feminists, who years later reveal the lies, manipulations, and often purely commercial attitudes underlying the pro-abortion movement. The stories of such people — an American Jewish gynaecologist and leader of the pro-abortion movement, Bernard Nathanson, and Norma McCorvey, the famous “Jane Roe” in the 1973 case before the US Supreme Court — are told in Cathy Beckerman and Nick Loeb’s 2020 film Roe v. Wade. The fact-based drama calls in doubt the pro-abortion ethos that has been promoted by artists such as Barbara Kruger. The film can be seen as an important footnote to the pro-abortion work of this and other contemporary artists.
Please join us for the film’s screening at the Audytorium Hall in Laboratory Building on Wednesday, 12 January, at 6 p.m., and then for a discussion featuring the gynaecologist and obstetrician Dr Barbara Antoniak, the lawyer and psychologist Magdalena Korzewka-Kaliszuk, and the filmmaker and deputy director of the National Film Archive, Magdalena Piejko. The discussion will be moderated by Beata Łupińska-Rytel, deputy director of the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle.