Usama, Muhammad, Ammar, Yasser, Kamil, Jarob, Ismail, Aminullah, Ahmed, Muhammad, Mortaza, Abdullah, Mustafa, Abdullah, Mazzin, Hezha, Maria, Mohand, Mahmude, Luay, Abdulkrem, Fazlullah, Sdiga, Ahmed, Youssef, Rafat, Hamid, Zabit, Elham, Omid, Nabas, Ktebalasaf, Zain…
IT specialist, office worker, pupil, mother, businessman, nurse, civil engineer, student, lawyer, journalist, architect…
Syria, Iraq, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Syria, Syria, Afghanistan, Afghanistan, Afghanistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Syria, Iraq, Syria, Syria, Syria, Syria, Iraq, Syria, Syria, Syria, Afghanistan, Afghanistan, Kurdistan, Iran, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Iraq…
I met them in Serbia in January 2016. They had been fleeing the world they knew well to the one that seemed to be better to them. They had been on their way for a few, dozen, dozens of days. They had paid a lot for it.
I didn’t go there just to photograph, however, I constantly had my camera with me and whenever I could, I took pictures. Not to forget their faces. But first, those people had to be helped, and if there was some free time left, then to talk to them. Only then was the time to think about taking a picture. They mostly agreed, but the women – they almost never wanted to be photographed, unless with their children. I tried to write down their names, cities, pieces of their stories, but there was no place, no time, no way to do that. Over these five days, 5 to 10 thousand people had crossed that place. Although I only encountered a small fraction of this number, all the facts have mixed up, making it impossible to combine the name with the face.
There was no time for staging, perfecting a composition, waiting for better light. It would rather be unfair in those circumstances. What only mattered, it was to record those people.
The people like us.
Magdalena Wdowicz-Wierzbowska (b. 1979) | based in Warsaw (Poland) | architect and freelance photographer | member of the Association of Polish Artists Photographers ZPAF | fellow of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage (2013) | has participated in numerous exhibitions | works on her own photographic projects | deals with portrait, street photography and clay modelling | author of the book I Just Miss My Husband. Meetings with Widows (self-published, 2013) | yoga and factual literature lover | has published in many magazines, including doc! photo magazine (doc! #24).
The Magdalena Wdowicz-Wierzbowska exhibition is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
New realities, quasi-biographies, weird, unbelievable worlds. This year, Fotofestiwal has invited artists who use fiction to comment on ‘here and now.’ They will draw you into a game, where boundaries between the real and the unreal are no longer so obvious. Hence the title of the 16th edition of Fotofestiwal – DASZ WIARĘ? / CAN YOU IMAGINE?
Fotofestiwal is one of the most significant photography events in this part of Europe. It gathers photographers from all over the world, presenting their works at exhibitions visited by thousands of viewers. Fotofestiwal is an opportunity for the audience to discover the most interesting phenomena of contemporary photography, while for photographers – to broaden their knowledge during workshops and the portfolio review.
This year, the viewers will face imagined realities and participate in a game in which they will no longer be just passive observers. The artists who participate in Dasz wiarę? / Can you Imagine? say: don’t believe photography, ask questions, be an attentive observer. Dialogue with the audience of Dasz wiarę?/ Can you imagine? is strengthened by subtle, (un)real installations by Noémie Goudal and the latest project called Provisional Arrangements by Martin Kollar, a renowned absurd seeker.
The curator’s exhibition will be prepared by one of the most intriguing artists of the young generation – Augustin Rebetez. He is known for his signature – black birds, human-like creatures and incredible structures that have made appearance in the minimalist gallery halls of Berlin, Paris, Lausanne, Arles, Mexico City or Montreal, among others. Trash Cans for Hearts and People Have No Soul, a chorus exhibition curated by Augustin Rebetez, is more than a photography exhibition – it is a total artistic universe, which Rebetez creates together with sixteen other artists, including David Favrod (winner of the 2014 Grand Prix Fotofestiwal), Christian Patterson, Birthe Piontek, Reiner Riedler and Yumiko Utsu.
The team of curators will present the set of works authored by the master of artistic mystification – Joan Fontcuberta. This will be the first in Poland presentation of such a large collection of works by one of the best known artists, curators and theoreticians of photography. Fontcuberta’s works have been presented in the most renowned arts institutions in the world. In Łódź, we will see three of his projects: Fauna, Herbarium and Constellations, which have significantly influenced the understanding of contemporary photography. Herbarium and Constellations take us to the fantasy world of quasi-botany and pseudo-astronomy. Fauna is a seemingly documentary project about research conducted by an unknown biologist, who discovers new animal species. A snake with centipede’s legs or a monkey having a body of a horse are only examples of what Fontcuberta ‘captured.’ It could change the history of science… if only it was real.
This year’s Fotofestiwal theme will also be reflected at the photo book exhibition and selected film screenings. However, Fotofestiwal is not only about the world of fiction – the NOOR agency (doc! #7), known for its strictly documentary photography, will organise workshops for photographers and the celebration of its 10th anniversary.
Traditionally, the festival will begin with announcement of the results of Grand Prix competition, presenting the most interesting phenomena of contemporary photography. One out of ten finalists – Loulou d’Aki, Andrea & Magda, Zeng Ge, Dominika Gęsicka (doc! #26), Wojciech Grzędziński (doc! #11), Vittorio Mortarotti & Anush Hamzehian, Alexandra Lethbridge, Jerome Ming, Viacheslav Poliakov and Oliver Tooke – will receive the prize of PLN 10,000. The competition works will be presented at the exhibitions and slideshows in the urban space.
The main programme of the 2017 Fotofestiwal Łódź is enriched with:
- lots of accompanying exhibitions, including the premier show of the DEBUTS (edition 2017)’s laureates as well as individual exhibitions of Viviane Sassen (doc! #5) or Rafał Milach (doc! #19);
- photobook exhibitions (Kassel Dummy Award 2017 and Photo Publication of the Year);
Fotofestiwal Kids, a series of workshops for the youngest ones, guided walks around exhibitions and a playground where parents may leave their children under care, while they themselves can see the exhibitions.
Next to the photo exhibitions, events, evening slideshows, artist’s talks and guided walks, the festival will also include film screenings (thanks to partnership with Transatlantyk Film Festival): premieres of most interesting documentaries about photography and photographers (i.e. Josef Koudelka and Robert Frank), some works that are a result of the search for a new film form that includes photography, and short photo-films presented earlier at the Les Nuits Photographie Festival.
More info @ www.fotofestiwal.com
@ Łódź (Poland)
June 1-11, 2017
The International Festival of Photography FOTOFESTIWAL ŁÓDŹ is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
Not posing and not setting a photo is a basic principle of street photography. The photographer must observe, see what others do not see. There are also such, who almost anticipate facts, knowing in advance what will happen next. For most street shots you also need some luck.
Unposed is the title of a group exhibition of the Un-Posed collective, the most recognisable Polish collective of street photography. The presentation at the Leica 6×7 Gallery will be an opportunity to see the best of the latest pictures of street photography that Un-Posed made in their new team (after the reactivation in 2016). The collection consists of 76 small-format photos, arranged in a special way, including the pictures that neither have been published nor exhibited before. It is their another presentation at the Leica 6×7 Gallery (the first one, titled Street Games, took place in 2016). The Un-Posed members have also been multiple winners and, over time, they became jurors of the Leica Street Photo competition, organised by the gallery.
The Un-Posed collective was established in 2011 on the initiative of Damian Chrobak. The aim of this group is to develop creativity as well as visual awareness of public space and to promote the achievements of Polish street photographers. Although all the members of the collective are active in the same area of interests, each of them has an individual, distinct style, which proves the complexity and potential inherent in street photography. The collective’s photographs have been exhibited in the galleries of Warsaw, Lublin, Wrocław, Berlin (during the European Month of Photography) as well as within Eastreet’s and Street Photography Now’s international projects.
Photographers: Damian Chrobak (doc! #13 & #19), Maciej Dakowicz (doc! #12), Jamie Fyson Howard (doc! #16), Ania Kłosek (doc! #25), Monika Krzyszkowska (DEBUTS 2015), Tomasz Kulbowski, Tymon Markowski, Marta Rybicka (DEBUTS 2016), Adrian Wykrota (doc! #31).
The Un-Posed exhibition is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
From classic still lives to three-dimensional photographic objects. The relationships between reality and photography or an object with its image will be the central theme of the 18th edition of the Collector’s Photography project titled THINGS: The Object in Polish Photography. The presented photographs will represent a variety of approaches to the theme – from documentary photography to conceptual ideas and photographic objects which take the traditionally flat photography into the 3D world, affording its whole new meaning. An important part of the exhibition will be works reflecting the problem of the materiality of photography. The title of this edition of the Collector’s Photography refers to a portfolio of works by Andrzej Kramarz in which he shows photographed items sold at one of Cracow’s flea markets. The spontaneously composed frames, one of which will be on display, make up a rich story about man and the human world.
The event will certainly surprise the viewer with the variety of techniques employed by the artists, the oldest ones of which include cartes de visite – portraits made by a method that highly popularised photography in the 19th century. The visiting cards, which depict distinguished Poles, including Jan Matejko, show how early photographers used props to add character to their portraits.
By nature, many processes yield unique photographic objects. The exhibition will feature techniques with roots that date back to the 19th century, but are used in a creative way by present-day artists, including a daguerreotype by Jarosław Klupś, a cyanotype by Marek Noniewicz, and a heliograph from the Green Glory series by Basia Sokołowska. The collage, a favourite technique of the Dadaists, was employed successfully a century later by Jan Dziaczkowski and Mateusz Szczypiński.
An interesting group will be formed by works in which the artists experiment with the photographic medium. Joanna Zemanek alters her photographs reproduced on canvas with an iron, while Patrycja Orzechowska uses her own technique, which she refers as lunatype. Agnieszka Kozłowska’s photographs from the Carved by Light cycle are produced directly on a photopolymer panel, forming three-dimensional reliefs.
The exhibition will offer an insight into a variety of spatial forms created by photographic objects, including the masterful School Trip by Wojciech Prażmowski, who tells a story dating back to 1934, using a meticulously constructed object. The well-known image of Marilyn Monroe in a new interpretation by Krzysztof Cichosz, forms a multilayer lightbox. Meanwhile, Łódź Kaliska presents one of the ceramic tiles they used to create an installation in the lavatory of the Museum of Art in Łódź. Georgia Krawiec’s Agents from The Commission to Monitor More Difficult Matters series are photographic undercover agents fitted into the space of the gallery and recording anything that is going on in the exhibition room. A special relationship between the reality and photography is formed by the art of Grzegorz Przyborek, who himself constructs the objects he then photographs, creating artwork pairs, such as the featured Pilgrim.
Objects are also a central focus of documentary photography. The Alone with the Carpet photograph, taken by Anna Beata Bohdziewicz in 1989, comes from the Photojournal or a Song about the End of the World series, a long-term documentary record of both, the key moments in the history of Poland and of everyday life. Certainly the ‘automotive stories’ told by Bogdan Łopieński and Chris Niedenthal will be a sentimental surprise for some viewers.
In addition to the works of such classics as Benedykt Jerzy Dorys, Edward Hartwig and Zofia Rydet, the exhibition will present modern interpretations of the relationship between an object and its representations by young-generation artists. With his picture from the E-słodowy series, Bownik reconstructs devices made by professional computer gamers, while Witek Orski investigates the relation between the eye, camera and the surface of the image in his photograph from the Stones triptych. In his collage from the recent cycle entitled The First March of Gentlemen, Rafał Milach presents a reflection with a political nature meant to activate the public.
Photographers featured during this edition of the Collector’s Photography: Janusz Bałdyga, Anna Beata Bohdziewicz, Bownik, Karolina Breguła, Krzysztof Cichosz, Benedykt Jerzy Dorys, Monika Drożyńska, Andrzej Dudek-Dürer, Jan Dziaczkowski, Paweł Fabjański, Marek Gardulski, Maurycy Gomulicki, Nicolas Grospierre, Aneta Grzeszykowska, Edward Hartwig, Jarosław Klupś, Michał Korta, Jan Kosidowski, Eustachy Kossakowski, Agnieszka Kozłowska, Andrzej Kramarz (cd! #4), Georgia Krawiec, Józef Kuczyński, Kamil Kuskowski, Konrad Kuzyszyn, Andrzej Lachowicz, Jerzy Lewczyński, Natalia LL, Bogdan Łopieński, Łódź Kaliska, Rafał Milach (doc! #19), Chris Niedenthal (doc! #6), Marek Noniewicz, Wacław Nowak, Witek Orski, Patrycja Orzechowska, Marek Piasecki, Paweł Pierściński, Krzysztof Pijarski, Lech Polcyn, Wojciech Prażmowski, Krzysztof Pruszkowski (cd! #1), Grzegorz Przyborek (cd! #2), Józef Robakowski, Witold Romer, Andrzej Różycki, Zofia Rydet, Zygmunt Rytka, Adam Rzepecki, Bronisław Schlabs, Jan Smaga, Mikołaj Smoczyński, Basia Sokołowska, Mateusz Szczypiński, Marek Szyryk, Andrzej Tobis, Zbigniew Tomaszczuk, Jerzy Truszkowski, Jerzy Wardak, Jerzy Wierzbicki, Krzysztof Wojciechowski, Stefan Wojnecki, Stanisław J. Woś, Krzysztof Zarębski, Joanna Zastróżna, Joanna Zemanek, Wiesław Zieliński and Paweł Żak (cd! #1 & #6).
THINGS. THE OBJECT IN POLISH PHOTOGRAPHY
@ Krakow Photomonth Festival -> Starmach Gallery (5 Węgierska St., Cracow, Poland)
Opening reception: May 19 at 6.00 PM
The exhibition will be open to the public until June 6, 2017
@ MYSIA 3 (3 Mysia St., Warsaw, Poland)
The exhibition will be open to the public between June 10 and 13, 2017
Auction: June 13 at 7.00 PM
- Hot to Collect Photographs – lecture by Gerry Badger
@ Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts (13 Matejko Sq., Cracow, Poland)
May 26, 2017 at 7.00 PM
- Expositions vol. 2. The Most Important Works in the History of Polish Photography from Public and Private Collections: Collection of the Museum of Art in Łódź – lecture by Lech Lechowicz
@ MYSIA 3 (3 Mysia St., Warsaw, Poland)
June 12, 2017 at 7.00 PM
The 18th edition of Collector’s Photography is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
“Nothing is true and nothing is false – everything is a possible true fiction or a deceptive fact,” – this is how Gordon MacDonald, the curator of the main programme, writes on images presented during the Krakow Photomonth 2017 Festival, one of the Europe’s most important photographic events. The 15th, jubilee edition of the festival focuses on how photographers see and describe the world.
From the Outside, Looking In is a leitmotif of the festival’s main programme. Its focal point is the concept of a photographer as an observer. Starting from a spontaneous idea of examining a selected subject, the photographer enters into a somewhat closed world, looks in from the outside. It is his or her decision to which extent events can be observed, how deeply they can be penetrated, and how closely they can be examined. But even in the very middle, the artist is always separated from the scrutinised object by a camera. It is the device that records things; perception of the artist, and subsequently the viewers’, it is subject to his or her intellectual background and accumulated knowledge.
“With the series of exhibitions that make up ‘From the Outside, Looking In,’ I have taken the position that photography is always on the outside looking in,” – says Gordon MacDonald. – “With photography, the genesis of a work is often spontaneous, instantaneous, and external. Regardless of the nuance of particular practice or mode, force a feeling of examination, rather than what is widely considered as a more lyrical dialogue within many other art-forms.”
The projects presented under the common title From the Outside, Looking In show us the world while simultaneously balancing between reality and fiction. In the images, nothing is true and nothing is fabricated. Everything is possible. Whether we believe the image, is our own will or decision, our ability to be empathic, or our knowledge of a given field.
Divisive Moments is an exhibition which will test our perception. It will show documents from UFO Photo Archives, poses a question if we are regularly visited by aliens, or we are victims of mass self-manipulation.
Our comprehension is certainly manipulated by artists participating in The War From Here exhibition. They do not document individual war incidents we know from the news or photo reportages – they ask questions how we are connected with war. The presented images will make the viewers be closer to wars which are usually witnessed from a distance, will make them feel instead of just watch.
Further, we will take a look at a history of a small town in West Virginia (USA) told by an American artist, Susan Lipper, through her Grapevine series. Although her pictures seem to fit in the conventional poetics of documentary photography, in fact, Lipper has abandoned the traditional approach allowing her models to play roles and create characters which could be – but not necessarily – identical with themselves.
The work of Diana Lelonek – A New Archaeology for Liban and Płaszów – gives us an opportunity to contemplate the memory of sites and the stories told about ourselves by traces found by the artist in the area of the Liban quarry and a former concentration camp in Płaszów.
At the We Also Dance exhibition, Gordon MacDonald takes us on the journey to an extraordinary world of dance as a manifestation of freedom and an antidote to political and social control of minds and bodies.
This year’s edition of the festival brings several novelties. In addition to the part of the programme prepared by curators, the festival allowed special space for Polish photography. The Things: The Object in Polish Photography exhibition, presented by Collector’s Photography, shows works of outstanding Polish artists of several generations, who present their individual approaches – from a document, to conceptual ideas and photographic objects – to this subject. Photography in its classical form will be shown on the exhibition of Andrzej Georgiew, re-introducing his work and re-discovering this outstanding artist, also in the context of his place in the history of Polish photography. And finally, we will find ourselves in the very middle of theatre events guided by Magda Hueckel.
Another, but of equal importance, part of Krakow Photomonth is the ShowOFF Section presenting premiere projects of young artists selected through an open competition.The open call of this year’s edition of the ShowOFF Section won: Terje Abusdal (Norway), Jan Cieślikiewicz (DEBUTS 2014; Poland), Polina Karpova (Ukraine), Lucie Khahoutian (Armenia), Flor Maesen (Belgium), Viacheslav Poliakov (Ukraine), Kaja Rata (DEBUTS 2015; Poland) and Karolina Wojtas (Poland).
The Portfolio Review organised during the Krakow Photomonth Festival gives the opportunity for its participants to have their works assessed by experts. The reviewers include, as each year, Polish and international critics, gallery owners, artists and theoreticians. During 20-minute individual sessions the review participants may listen to the reviewers’ opinions regarding their works and establish valuable contacts. The best portfolios receive a prestigious prize funded by the Griffin Art Space Foundation – Griffin Art Space Prize – whose aim is to promote interesting and mature art projects. The winner, selected from participants in the Portfolio Review, will be able to create a professional collector’s folder and present his/her work in the form of an exhibition.
Accompanying events make an important part of the festival. The Krakow Photo Fringe is an independent platform bringing together submissions sent in by artists, animators, activists, galleries, and all those who are passionate about photography – including the final exhibition of DEBUTS (edition 2016). The success of the previous editions has led the organisers to expand the Photo Fringe to cover the entire Małopolska region. This year exhibitions and events will take place in Tarnów, Krzeszowice, Myślenice and other localities.
Particular attention should be also paid to the Masters Series. Invited artists and specialists will enrich the discussion around the theme of the festival and will talk about new trends in the world of photography. The program of events is filled out with book premieres, workshops, presentations, film screenings and curators walks.
More info @ photomonth.com
Krakow Photomonth 2017 Festival
@ Cracow (Poland)
May 19 – June 18, 2017
The Krakow Photomonth 2017 Festival is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
44 women, each beautiful in her own way. At the Warsaw’s GWL Gallery on April 21, the first presentation of the bella project, Robby Cyron’s homage paid to womanhood and essence of his 25-year-long photographic career, will take place.
Everyone who knows Robby Cyron’s artistic work has noticed that he is able to create a magic atmosphere between the model and the camera. He is one of a few photographers who let the woman be herself, focusing the viewer’s attention on the game of lights and shadows. The bella project results from countless meetings during which Cyron was taking pictures of nature of women – these known ones (actresses, dancers, singers) and those close to his heart. This special collection of 37 black-and-white photographs of women presents the real picture of feminine beauty in a natural and minimal way.
“What I wanted to show was not only the women’s beauty, but also their emotions strictly connected with their sense of being a woman,” – says Robby Cyron.
During the exhibition opening, there will take place the launch of unique, hand-numbered album consisting of 94 photos of women, published in a limited series of 100 copies. The album numbered 001, signed by all the heroins, can be bought during the auction. Besides the album, 10 original photographs in collector’s version will be auctioned too. The charity auction will be run for the Rak’n’Roll Foundation.
Robby Cyron (b. 1970) | based in Warsaw (Poland) | learnt to photograph in a classical advertising photography studio | photographer and curator | owner of the las studio and GWL Gallery (both in Warsaw) | gives analogue atmosphere to his works, often made digitally | co-author of guide books IN (Agora, 2011) and author of the photobook Nath (RC, 2012) | his works have been published by such magazines like Maxim, Gala, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Playboy, Joy, Music Express, Glamour, Marie Claire, Twój Styl and doc! photo magazine (doc! #10 & #39), among others.
The Robby Cyron exhibition is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
For almost 10 years Piotr Zbierski has been consistently making his visual stories. They take the form of expanded and multi threaded series in which he studies both, the world around him and the medium he uses – photography. His photos escape the well known documentary convention, their aesthetics can evoke oneiric associations, suggest some kind of afterimages, sketches. However, it is quite clear which places Zbierski is interested in. The key factor is the meeting with other man, the world and with nature. Getting into new areas, exploring the world of emotions, intensive experiencing of them have become his working method and a condition for creating such images. They are characterised by unprecedented sensitivity of look, specific photographic techniques he uses and the problems he presents. These three elements make up the originality of the creator.
Zbierski uses photography to study mental states, emotions, relationships between science and culture, structures deeper and more hidden than those experienced in everyday and customary perception. Everything is marked by the intimate contact with photographed people, things, places and nature. Without the ability to enter such relationships these images couldn’t have been created. Thanks to that we are given the images which can amaze, intrigue, the pictures that demand our attention and perceptual involvement. The non-obviousness of these pictures makes us associate them with an open work – there is much to be said to oneself but there is also a lot to read out of them.
The series presented at the exhibition (Dream of White Elephants, Love Has To Be Reinvented and Stones Were Lost from the Base) show the path the photographer follows and in spite of the diversity of the themes of images, the vision of their creator is visible. Undoubtedly, road and travel are important concepts for Zbierski, both understood on different levels. He travels a lot to search for inspirations, looking for such places that have preserved the features of primordiality, the places in which one can experience the magic of cyclicality of repetitive rituals in which there are still remnants of pre-civilisational universe.
Piotr Zbierski (b. 1987) | based in Łódź (Poland) | graduated from Photography at the Łódź Film School | author of award-winning and highly respected series: White Elephants, Here, Love Has to Be Reinvented and Childhood Dreams | has presented his works internationally at individual and collective exhibitions | his series have been published by Shots Magazine, Ninja Mag, Archivo Zine, dienacht, GUP, doc! photo magazine (doc! #8) and contra doc! (cd! #5), among others | winner of the 2012 Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award | author of the book Push the Sky Away (Łódź Film School, 2016).
Piotr Zbierski – PUSH THE SKY AWAY
@ FF Gallery ( 18 Traugutta St., Łódź, Poland)
Opening reception: April 21 at 6.00 PM
Artist’s talk: May 6 at 3.00 PM
The exhibition will be open to the public until May 6, 2017
The Piotr Zbierski exhibition is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
Realism, distance and documentarian objectivity are concepts that emerge at the first thought of photography on modern architecture. None the less, the work of Nicolas Grospierre and David Sardaña tells us much more – thanks to them we can deconstruct these concepts on five different levels.
Level one. René Magritte, with his famous pipe, got us into a semantic predicament. The same game can be used to move between levels. But if the Belgian surrealist maestro questioned works on canvas, here we are suspicious of photography itself. When we see a photograph of a building that states the word edificio (building), don’t we stop seeing it or even believing it? Even as a direct shot, the reality of the image dissolves „caused by” the word. A frame that isn’t accidental puts us in a different state, beyond words and things. Whereas photographed coloured blocks do just the opposite process, but with similar results: the photographic editing is so subtle that it cannot be detected. Buildings that aren’t buildings.
Level two. To think of modern architecture is to think of Le Corbusier. This “the most practical, democratic and visionary architect of our time” – in the words of Berger – left a widely known legacy that was extended throughout the world… very misunderstood. If the notion of modernity implies a promise of future, then why, when we contemplate these photographed buildings, do we automatically think: “How long will they last?” “Are they still standing today?” It is hard to believe that they can be examples of so called unité d´habitation; they are rather a way of transforming architecture into an efficient business that is sadly perishable.
Level three. The modulor by Le Corbusier, the human scale that should be the foundation of inhabitable architecture, is called into question when observing the vertically cramped accumulation and the urban landscape found in these photographs. Forms that one day wanted to give a neutral element to the ensemble without keeping man in mind. Now a shelter for multitudes, they have been transformed into swarms that secrete as many worlds as they do windows. Façades that house distinct microcosms. Mass-produced geometric shapes mocked by umbrellas, clothespins, awnings and plants. Decorations that are only comprehended by the free imagination of their neighbour.
Level four. It is equally interesting to think that these modern architectural forms derive from the constructivist tradition. Political and aesthetic ironies are echoed in David Sardaña’s photographs (showing this supposed modernity in full on Spanish autarchy) while Nicolas Grospierre uses architecture developed during communism as a basis. Ideologically opposed regimes that share an absolutist foundation erasing all evidence of democratisation.
Level five. Taking the selected buildings out of context is a strategy undertaken by both photographers. Used as isolated subjects, the interpretation of their reality is altered. Decontextualised works show them as elements separated from the integral whole.
David Sardaña’s work belongs to the Levantine Rationalism series, a set of photographs of the architecture from Spanish eastern coast that proliferated during the touristic boom of the 1970s, used by the regime to appear open and modern. An unhinged urban development that resulted in the accumulation of illogical and even disrespectful recreational buildings along the coast. Removed from their reality, monumentalised with frontal perspectives or low angles, Sardaña work gives them back their dignity, delves into their abstract origin, extracting their battered beauty and showing the universality of their forms.
The buildings that compile Nicolas Grospierre’s Atlas are a detailed and exhaustive game of abstraction, which only demonstrate the universalisation of modern forms. A modernity, however, seen through the cracks of its decline as a broken promise of future. If we consider the ironic wink of his Kolorobloki, we reach the highlight of our discourse: what seems like documentary photography is but a montage and clear sarcasm.
Nicolas Grospierre & David Sardaña – CECI N’EST PAS UN BÂTIMENT
@ andel’s Hotel Łódź (17 Ogrodowa St., Łódź, Poland)
Opening reception: April 6 at 7.00 PM
The exhibition will be open to the public between April 7 and May 6, 2017
Curator: Inés R. Artola
The Nicolas Grospierre and David Sardaña exhibition is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.
The 20th jubilee Film Video Foto Fair is closer and closer! The biggest industry event in Poland will become a great opportunity for all fans of film and photographic art again.
During this year’s edition of the fair almost 130 firms will appear, including leading producers and distributors of photo and video industry. Exhibitors will present a rich and varied offer of photographic, film, audio-video equipment and accessories as well as multimedia technologies. The Film Video Foto Fair is a great opportunity to follow the latest trends, test a wide assortment of products or learn about technological innovations. In addition to that, it is an excellent opportunity to establish new and maintain the current business contacts as well as exchange experiences and discuss the industry.
As usual, the fair is accompanied by workshops, seminars, presentations and meetings aimed at professionals dealing with photography and film as well as amateurs. Thanks to the rich programme of accompanying events, everybody will be able to develop their skills and competences by following the best.
The first series of the workshops and trainings is connected with photographing. Tomasz Tomkowiak, Karol Nienartowicz, Robert Wolański, Sławek “hesja” Krajniewski, Marek Arcimowicz, Wiktor Franko and Jacek Bonecki, all respected and repeatedly rewarded photographers, will tell about their experiences.
The people who are interested in filming will certainly listen to the lectures and participate in meetings with Captain Pilot Henryk Kwapisz or Wacław Mączyński, among others. There are also lectures aimed at those who are involved in image processing.
Another attraction for visitors of this year’s Film Video Foto fair is a cycle of author’s talks with famous photographers. The following artists have confirmed their participation: Chris Niedenthal (doc! #6), Jacek Poremba (doc! #8), Marcin Dobas and already mentioned Marek Arcimowicz.
As in the previous edition, the fair will also be accompanied by the Art Zone, the place of meetings with artists representing different kinds of photography and presenting their artistic achievements. During the jubilee edition of Film Video Foto Fair you will be able to meet Magdalena Franczuk, Sonia Firlej, Paweł Brzeziński, Arcadius Mauritz or Yulia Krivich (DEBUTS 2015), among others.
The visitors, after a large dose of information on the newest equipment and software, will be able to see several photo exhibitions, including:
- DEBUTS (edition 2016)
- Olympus’ visionaries
- collective exhibition of the Art Zone’s guests
- Our World Is Beautiful
- Opole Landscapes
- Agata Serge’s Freckles
More info @ www.filmvideofoto.pl
Please note, the first day of the Film Video Foto Fair (April 6) is scheduled for business meetings of the professionals. This day visiting is possible on the basis of invitations, multiple entry cards and media accreditations
20th Film Video Foto Fair
@ Expo-Łódź (4 Politechniki Av., Łódź, Poland)
April 6-8, 2017
“Photographic still life is a double death of a thing.” However, Paweł Żak’s exhibition will be salvation. We will see the perfectly presented reality, shown surprisingly abstractively. A glass of vodka, flowers and a skull just make a seemingly weird set. Yet, in Paweł Żak’s photographic work they make a story. It is also easy to find some reference to Dutch masters of painting there.
Still life is a classic when it comes to visual arts. Sets of static elements put together for compositional purposes, and sometimes for symbolic ones too. Not large, still items are willingly used by painters, but there are definitely fewer photographers interested in this kind of artistic expression. There are very few such masters, who create whole series of still life. No doubt, Paweł Żak is one of them. The artist has been working in this trend for 25 years, constantly amazing the viewer with successive series.
His next exhibition will consist of the latest works of the cycle that started in 2008. The works put under one title Core Curriculum and Other Still Lifes unveil Paweł Żak as the mature, minimalistic and (this time) extremely reserved artist. Digitally made images attract attention with their severity and sharpness. Simultaneously, they captivate with minimalism and abstraction.
These photographs are elaborated in every detail. They take the beginning on paper in the form of precise sketches that are then recorded with apothecary accuracy by millions of photodiodes that are selected in the way to make the viewer see what the artist wanted to show on a 1:1 scale. There is no space for mistakes, all the photos are one frame, in which Żak interferes only to the extent that photographic film allows him to.
As far as technically there is no room for inaccuracy, visually the images captivate with their ambiguity. One-colour background, spotlessly white and perfectly ironed tablecloth, common to all of the pictures, make the viewer concentrated on the presented items. The items, taken out of time and space, are here and now, in one and unchangeable situation, which, in spite of that, gives you a field for interpretation. And this is the sense of still life.
The exhibition opening will also be the release of the And Other Still Lifes album that consists of photographs taken by Paweł Żak since 2008.
Paweł Żak (b. 1965) | based in Warsaw (Poland) | studied Social Sciences at the University of Warsaw | graduate from the Academy of Fine Art in Poznan (Multimedia Communication Faculty) | lectures in Photography at the University of Warsaw’s Faculty of Photojournalism and ZPAF School of Photography | member of the Association of Polish Artists Photographers | presented his works at dozens of group and individual exhibitions in Poland and abroad | his works are in collections of National Library of France in Paris, National Museum in Warsaw, Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw, Museum of Art in Łódź, and in private collections in Poland, France, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, Brazil, United Kingdom, and the USA | his photographs have been published by many magazines, including contra doc! (cd! #1 & #6).
Paweł Żak – CORE CURRICULUM AND OTHER STILL LIFES
@ Leica Gallery Warsaw (3 Mysia St., Warsaw, Poland)
Opening reception: March 31 at 7.00 PM
The exhibition will be open to the public between April 1 and May 28, 2017
The Paweł Żak exhibition is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.