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.
Robby Cyron’s Figura Animalis exhibition draws its roots from an ornamental chicken from Leon Tarasewicz’s bird’s collection. A well-known painter lent one of species for a photo session organised by a fashion magazine. However this tiny cock was just one of many elements of the set, it caught the photographer’s eye. At the moment when the light of studio lamps reached the bird’s plumage and its feathering had blazed of vivid, colourful brilliance, Robby Cyron realised that he had just found a new object of his photographic fascination.
The exhibition title Figura Animalis has an ambiguity hidden in the double meaning of a Latin word animalis that could be translated as a word “animal”, but above all it refers to the vitality and life. Moreover, the noun anima can also be associated with the vital soul. This ambiguity is also captured through Cyron’s perspective on birds and mammals. The artist seeks new canons of beauty in the animal world.
In his work Robby often studies various faces of nature, whether on the occasion of the B&W photographs of women like in the project entitled Bella or through the attempt to subjugate wildlife as in the case of Gallus and The Family projects. The Figura Animalis exhibition combines the last two series: ornamental chickens (Gallus) and Arabian horses – The Family.
The Family represents a poetic approach to animals that embody both, strong nature and grace. Horses seen by Robby Cyron are as monumental as a statue but their gaze often seems truly melancholic. Gallus means rooster, but its Latin name sounds more sophisticated, and so are the chickens as seen through Cyron’s lens. Birds covered with feathers in vivid colours are almost “posing” for photos. Are they still animals or tiny pieces of art?
Cyron’s animalistic models embody the whole scale of emotions: sadness, melancholy and even comic quality. Birds and horses “pose” without make-up and they are not dressed up, which gives Cyron (that also specialises in professional commercial photography, working with models, actors and celebrities for various magazines) a new space for artistic expression.
“In my creative work I always try to capture various sorts of beauty phenomenon,” – says the artist.
The Figura Animalis exhibition is also a field of research for a new aesthetics. This project would not be possible without the photographer’s skills. Thanks to precise light usage and professional studio work Cyron’s photographs look like Dutch paintings with a touch of a hyperrealism.
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 (Warsaw: Agora, 2011) and author of the photobook Nath (Warsaw: 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.
Robby Cyron – FIGURA ANIMALIS
@ Leica 6×7 Gallery Warsaw (3 Mysia St., Warsaw, Poland)
Opening reception: February 9 at 7.00 PM
The exhibition will be open to the public between February 10 and March 18, 2018
- artist’s tours: February 11 at 1.00 PM & March 17 at 5.00 PM
- artist’s talk: March 1 at 6.00 PM
The Robby Cyron exhibition is organised under doc! photo magazine patronage.