Antoni Zdebiak. Everyone is Furthest from Himself

Antoni Zdebiak treated art as a process and a ritual, and his own body – as a tool. In his photographs, he usually became his own model. His archive contains hundreds of self-portraits. There are classic examples among them, in which we can see Antoni Zdebiak’s face or rather hundreds of his faces. In other works, we observe him in action. We invite you to visit Antoni Zdebiak’s solo exhibition which will take place within Warsaw Gallery Weekend.

Zdebiak (1951-1991) worked in the field of photojournalism, but was also involved in commercial, theatre and fashion photography. He realized projects for magazines such as ITD, Razem and Perspektywy. He collaborated with the top artists of 1980’s. His photographs appeared on the album covers of leading Polish bands and musicians, i.a.: Budka Suflera, Republika, Siekiera and Urszula. However, the most important area of his artistic activity remained his own projects, in which self-portraits and self-representations took a special place.

The exhibition presents a few dozens of works from 1975-1988. They include Witkacy-like ‘clashes’ with one’s own face – series of self-portraits, Zdebiak consequently repeated for his entire adult life. Altogether, he took over 500 pieces of this kind. There are also sequences of photographs, in which the narrative and scenography are of a crucial importance. Those to-camera performances were recorded with thoroughness and the artist paid a great attention to details and composition. He often was a performer, but also an actor, a director and a choreographer. While working, he would use different formal means, yet only the holistic approach towards Zdebiak’s autobiographical artistic work allows to construct a portrait of an artist and an individual – searching, struggling with his own image and with the inability to gain the desired self-knowledge and self-awareness as well as with evanescence and the variability of human nature.

The Archeology of Photography Foundation has been studying and working on Antoni Zdebiak’s artistic legacy since 2016. The exhibition constitutes the first such a vast presentation of the so-far unresearched archive which at the same time remains so vital in the context of Polish conceptual art of 1980’s. We are going to show series of self-portraits that haven’t been exhibited so far, but also contact sheets, archival materials and authorial prints. The exhibition is complemented with a photo book.

Curator: Marta Szymańska

The exhibition will be presented within Warsaw Gallery Weekend program (21st Sept. – 23rd Sept. 2018)

Venue: Archeology of Photography Foundation Gallery, Chłodna 20, Warsaw
Exhibition opening: 21st September 2018, 6.30 p.m.
21st September – 21st October 2018
Opening hours 21st September – 23rd September 2018 (during Warsaw Gallery Weekend): daily 12 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Opening hours 24th September – 21st October: Monday – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

The exhibition organized within Warsaw Gallery Weekend program

The project is co-financed by the City of Warsaw

Research, preservation and digitalization of Antoni Zdebiak’s archives is co-financed by The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage