What do we see? What do we notice? All around the city, we glimpse at posters and advertisements, clues of larger stories. Located on the facade of the ChertLüdde entrance and the mushroom-shaped advertisement cylinder outside the gallery, Wera Bet’s (Bydgoszcz, Poland, 1987) public intervention Sprawa Kobieca encourages viewers to interact with these stories by inviting them to rip down her work, take it home, and live with it.

These posters will eventually dwindle in number until the installation is completely gone, hibernating as single ephemera distributed across the city. Presented as part of the transient gallery space Porcino, founded by David Horvitz in 2013, the project echoes the very nature of the exhibition space – blooming once and then moving like spores swiftly to its next location.

Made of three different poster designs that multiply across the space, these works represent Bet’s practice. Often considering action and reaction on a cognitive level, the elements seen in Bet’s work branch out like the nervous and endocrine systems through human and nonhuman subjects. People, snails, and plant life all clustered within her borders, spreading and extending through paint and pencil. Objects from domestic scenes appear regularly as well, with public attention falling onto a private eye.

The translation of the title, Sprawa Kobieca, is muddy, the linguistic shift from Polish sprawling with interpretations, meaning at the same time ‘Women’s Case,’ ‘Women’s Issue,’ and ‘Women’s Business.’ Taking inspiration from Poland's golden age of posters in the 1960s, and the designers' distinct use of symbolism and folklore, the posters are all connected to the stories that take root in and reflect social history.

Featuring a large vacuum, the first poster made in this series alludes directly to the story of Rita Gorgonowa, a woman who immigrated to (what was then) Poland. Later charged with murder in 1932 despite the absence of any concrete evidence, her story became a national media affair and traveled widely as gossip, as hypotheses. With elements of Gorgonowa's story penetrating all three posters, the installation traces how (mis)information spreads, sprouting like clovers through concealed networks of knowledge and figuration.

Simultaneous to this project, a poetry reading from Mycoglossia by Fiona Glen (Edinburgh, Scotland, 1995) and Nina Hanz (Richmond, USA, 1996) will occur within the ChertLüdde bookstore. Embodying the many voices of mushrooms, they present fungi as both healers and destroyers, plague and nurture, horror or hope. The co-presentation by Glen and Hanz entangles with the cohabitation occurring in cities, homes and across borders and countries, voicing similar rhizomatic patterns as Bet’s artistic intervention.

Nina Hanz