Anna Krenz

Polish Wife

At the beginning of the 21st Century women in developed countries seem to be aware and confident about of their position in the society. In the world of colourful magazines they are emancipated cosmopolitans, living in modern apartments, with good jobs and a car. The lucky ones have even a MAN. In developing countries it is a little different.

Many men from Western Europe seem to be interested in women from Eastern Europe. In recent years many men have travelled either to Poland or Ukraine in order to find a perfect woman – a wife or just a married maid. Today many women in Poland are well off enough that they do not need a wealthy foreign husband to live in luxury. However there are still the ones who are not rich and for whom a western husband is a possibility to get out from the poverty of their lives. It is very often that rich and lonely men from Western Europe and poor women from Poland sign a contract, called a marriage, which fulfils their dreams. The man gets a beautiful house-maid and the woman gets luxury and financial stability. For this agreement, based on pure opportunity and use, women leave their homes and travel to an unknown land. Often they do not speak the language, they are completely dependent on their masters. This is migration, based on the longing for a better life.

Do the western men still look for a perfect model of a wife – beautiful, faithful, loyal and hard-working?

„Polish Wife“ project is a provocation against the stereotypes about polish women, who are often treated in the Western Europe as a product one can simply order and get. Polish women are seen as a material for a good wife, a cleaning lady (with a Ph.D.).
I am playing with stereotypes by using ironic forms and slogans common for the trade market. One can order a perfect Polish Wife online and I will deliver her in few days. After Poland joined the EU in 2004 there was a great SALE of Polish Wives. Now after Poland is in Shengen zone it is even easier to buy a Polish Wife due to the decrease of the administration procedures for marriages and travel abroad.

Who wants to buy a Polish Wife?
Can Poland earn a lot of money on selling women to western men?
Can Poland finally be a rich country?
Anna Krenz (born 1976 in Poznan, Poland) is an artist and an architect, graduated from the Department of Architecture at the Poznan University of Technology and Energy, Environment & Sustainable Design Graduate Studies at the Architectural Association in London. Subjects of her art are social and political issues, gender, environment, stereotypes and religion. She works with various forms of artistic expression and media, from drawings, paintings, photography and video to net-art and performance. Anna Krenz takes part in solo- and group exhibitions in Germany, Poland and internationally. Anna Krenz is a co-owner of the Galerie ZERO in Berlin, an exchange and exhibition platform for Eastern European artists with focus on polish art. She is a co-founder of the band “the Curators”, which is into improvised and experimental music. Since April 2007 she is Editor-in-Chief of a polish design magazine “VOX Design”. She is also freelance journalist, specialised in architecture, for major polish architectural magazines. Since 2003 Krenz lives and works in Berlin.