To a certain degree, any landscape owes its form to the cultural interference of people. A seemingly natural landscape or cityscape often witnessed battles, violent crime or other menacing events. Although the beautiful natural scenery or fragments of architecture may mask their traces, such places have a peculiar aura bearing the memory of a collective trauma or individual misfortune.
Hubert Humka (doc! #37) focuses on such landscapes and explores the dark corners of the human soul. His Death Landscapes series is based on depriving a place of its romantic, picturesque context. The artist juxtaposes ostensibly neutral views with filters of their dramatic past. The photographs were taken at a specific time on days marking the anniversary of events that took place in the featured spots. Was it because on such days some force or energy connected with witnesses’ memories becomes particularly potent? The best example is provided by the Norwegian island of Utøya, which will forever be connected with the memory of the victims of the tragic shooting.
Humka’s cycle contradicts the traditional manner of depicting landscapes as postcards. In Death Landscapes, a seemingly innocent view both hides and reveals the tragic past and the dark truth about humans. The sacred becomes mixed up with the profane – the photographs unveil a hidden layer of reality that usually remains invisible.
Hubert Humka (b. 1983) | based in Warsaw (Poland) | graduate of the Łódź Film School | interested in mocumentary, quasi-documentaries and searching for authenticity in photography | his works were exhibited during numerous photo festivals, including Les Rencontres d’Arles (2012 & 2013), Transphotographiques Festival (2014), Fotofestiwal Łódź (2016) or Białystok Interphoto Festival (2015) | has also exhibited his works in Germany, Malaysia and in the United Kingdom | finalist of several international contests: Prix Voies Off: Sélections 2013 at the Les Rencontres d’Arles Off Festival (France), Photo Diploma Award 2013 in Poznań (Poland) | author of the book Evil Man (Łódź: Łódź Film School Press, 2014).
Hubert Humka – DEATH LANDSCAPES
@ Wrocław Contemporary Museum (2a Strzegomski Sq., Wrocław, Poland)
Opening reception: March 2 at 6.00 PM
The exhibition will be open to the public until June 4, 2018
- curator-led tour and artist’s talk: March 4 at 3.00 PM
The Hubert Humka exhibition is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.