¥€$U$ is already the second presentation of Paweł Jaszczuk’s works in the Leica 6×7 Gallery. After the projects showing day and night life in Japan, ¥€$U$ is the first one created since the author’s return to Poland. The inspiration for this project was documentation of gadgets and toys connected with Christianity, especially with contemporary Catholic devotion. For some years the artist has been buying them on the Internet, using such sites like eBay, Etsy and even Polish Allegro. All of them have been staged in a ‘natural’ context and portrayed in according to their purpose.
One of Paweł Jaszczuk’s goals is to draw attention to the surrealism of the marriage of capitalism to the world of religion and devotion in the modern times. The pictures present the whole spectrum of objects: from simple ones like a towel with image of Madonna on or a small pendant-cross with with a pocket knife to more unusual: a bath duck with a head of Jesus or a bulb with a cross-shaped filament. The ¥€$U$ project evokes universal questions on connections between religion, emotions and subjects (in this case – Catholic ones). What is the role of the images of the saints and of God? What are the borders of devotion? Can devotion and holiness exclude each other?
Paweł Jaszczuk observes how symbols and signs, along with the mass production, change into ambiguous gadgets. While related to religion, relics are considered unusual and unique (framed in precious materials and their use is strictly limited to fixed ritual), photographed by Jaszczuk they become relics ‘topsy-turvy.’ Often trashy, designed for everyday use, duplicated in thousands of copies, easy to be replaced swith new ones if destroyed or run out. On the other hand, these everyday items are closer to man: the artist emphasises their materiality, belonging to the owner and frequently his intimate relationship with them. Removed from the sacred level (because of its massification and utility), the object starts to function at the level of every-day reality, which means – at the level of profane.
Paweł Jaszczuk (b. 1978) | based in Warsaw (Poland) | self-taught photographer | graduated from Graphic Design at the School of Visual Arts in Sydney (Australia, 2004) | for seven years lived and worked in Japan where photographed nightlife of Tokyo | his photographs have been presented by many magazines, including British Journal of Photography, GUP, PHOTO, Eyemazing, The New York Times Magazine and doc! photo magazine (doc! #29/30), among others | has been presented at individual and group exhibitions internationally | has published three photo books: Salaryman (Mörel Books, London, 2009), Kinky City (dienacht Publishing, Leipzig, 2015) and Everything You Do Is a Balloon (Lieutenant Willsdorff, Bordeaux, 2016).
Paweł Jaszczuk – ¥€$U$
@ Leica 6×7 Gallery Warsaw (3 Mysia St., Warsaw, Poland)
Opening reception: October 27 at 7.00 PM
The exhibition will be open to the public between October 28 and December 3, 2017
The Paweł Jaszczuk exhibition is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.