Archeology of Photography Foundation presents exhibition during Triennial of Photography in Hamburg between 6th and 15th of June. The exhibition features Polish photographers: Antoni Zdebiak, active in the 80s., and contemporary artist Magda Hueckel. The project focuses on performative photography as a way of self-exploration.
What unites graphic design, stage design, photography and cinema is this interest in the new, in the development of both technology and contemporary artistic language,” wrote Wojciech Zamecznik in 1961.
The dialogue between photography and the graphic arts begun in the first two decades of the 20th century would prove especially fecund in the two-and-a-half decades following the end of the Second World War (1945–69). This exhibition looks at the post-war interaction of the two disciplines through some hundred photographs and other pieces drawn from the holdings of the Centre Pompidou and from public and private collections abroad. Often little known, these works cast light on an important phase in the relationship between photography and the graphic arts. While many graphic designers explored the use of photomontage, others favoured the formal abstraction that photography offered. Obtained by ingenious experimentation, their photograms and light drawings were used in advertisements, cultural posters, book covers and record sleeves. The representatives of this new visual sensibility were in great part trained or inspired by the Bauhaus. A pioneer in uniting the fine and applied arts, the school had seen the designer as an agent of society charged with the expression of the contemporary spirit. The books of the leading figures of the Bauhaus would exercise a decisive influence on these post-war photo-graphic artists, among them Laszlo Moholy-Nagy’s Painting, Photography, Film (1925) and Vision in Motion (1947) and György Kepes’s Language of Vision (1944) and The New Landscape in Art and Science (1956).
Mariusz Hermanowicz’s work focuses on some crucial and recurring threads. Its central place is taken by the interest in people. Observing them in various situations and telling their stories through applying a vast spectrum of photographic conventions are the motives which are present in every period of his artistic endeavor. Starting with photojournalism and finishing with studio photography, Hermanowicz showed their struggle with daily routine, but also elusiveness and randomness of encounters, fragility and precariousness of what is physical. Protagonists of his photos were accidental strangers, but also very close people and finally he himself.
The second returning theme is the passing time, evanescence and reflection on the unique value of every single moment. Photography served him as a vehicle through which he was able to search for what’s gone, a tool with which he could inventory traces, but also a medium, he used to regain and reclaim memories. Very often the image appeared not to be sufficient and because of so some photos are enriched with handwritten notes. Sometimes he wrote just one sentence, on other occasions – used more elaborate narration. These works are full of irony. However, there is often a nostalgy beneath.
Or rather: what is it like and who does it belong to? Is photography able to convey shapes and structures of the body shell the same way the beautiful wax moulages do?
‘I started with collecting them” – says the photographer. University Museums within Anatomy Departments and those opened next to M.E. Office in Hamburg, the collection of Forensics Center in Wrocław - these were the areas of her explorations. She photographed body parts, internal organs and bones stored in repositories and locked away in cabinets as well as moulages, the plaster or wax models perfectly imitating surfaces of objects - in this very case those of the body and skin, which were showcased as permanent expositions.
The Zbigniew Dłubak – Héritier des avant-gardes exhibition is being held at the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson between January 17 and April 29, 2018.
In the post-war period, Zbigniew Dłubak (1921-2005) was one of the driving forces behind the profound changes in the Polish artistic scene. A great experimenter of photographic forms, he was also a painter, art theoretician, teacher and editor of the Fotografia magazine for twenty years, introducing into this publication a robust photographic critique and interdisciplinary approach to the medium. He enjoyed a certain notoriety in Poland during his lifetime. Several monographic exhibitions were dedicated to him and some of his major works are part of Polish public collections.
The retrospective exhibition of Mariusz Hermanowicz’s works will open 10th of April 2018 in photography gallery Prospekto in Vilnius. The exhibition presents alterations taking place throughout the periods of his artistic activity. Mariusz Hermanowicz was an operating photographer from 70’s up till 2008. His individual style stretched between conceptual photography and photojournalism. Applying handwritten notes directly onto prints and taking a series of photographs organized in the cohesive and carefully planned narration became his hallmarks.
Andrzej Georgiew was a photographer who never made projects or series, and yet who left behind a remarkably coherent oeuvre. Man is central to his interest; above all, the human face. He used to say: I keep getting the feeling that I’m always taking the same photograph. Georgiew returned to the same figures many times, stripping away more and more layers. In this way, he was trying to extract this “presentness” from time and to capture it. The fruit of these encounters is a series of apparently similar photographs.
In his latest project, Adam Pańczuk investigates human subconsciousness and its representability through the photographic image by working with a model and building a non-existing world – one created with the use of props, actors, and scenery. Pańczuk depicts something that does not exist in the visible world, with the sequence of images he produces bringing to mind an oneiric logic and evoking dreams in which we experience flashes of understanding, unwavering confidence, and harmony. However, the brightness is soon replaced by daylight, just after we wake up.
Choreography of Images. Performative Photography: Zbigniew Dłubak, Mariusz Hermanowicz, Antoni Zdebiak
The exhibition originates in discussions on relations between photography, performance, stage productions and widely understood acting in front of the camera lens. The area of our interest however does not focus on performance documentation, which constitutes a supplement of an activity per se, functioning independently from the fact, whether it was photographed or not. We are interested in such photos, which main aim is – according to the artist’s intention – the image as such. Therefore they present to the viewer activities which arose for the purpose of the photo, where the author is not only a witness, but first and foremost the director and choreographer and finally might fulfill a role of an actor as well. The exhibition presents the original prints from 80’s, from archives which Archeology of Photography Foundation is working and making research on.
Warsaw Photographer is a documentary project which presents various aspects of activity of Warsaw photography studios. Antonina Gugała examines the traces of presence of high street photographers within the capital city’s space. The material she collected serves as a departure point for recognition of social functions held by these photographers and for analysis of the language used by them in communication with their environment.
At the end of November 2016 the project of digitization of photo prints from Zofia Chomętowska’s collection and rendering them accessible was closed. 89.41% of its cost was co-financed by The Main Directorate for National Archives.
The purpose of the project was to index and render accessible 2800 photos, mostly dated back to 1928-1946, taken in Polesie, Warsaw or other Polish cities. The whole collection has been digitalized and carefully described. Some of the most interesting images include photo-documentation of destroyed Warsaw, pre-war Poland palaces, photos taken in Zakopane in the years 1938-1939.
An “ordinary” death is less and less present in culture. People don’t die in the presence of their families, but in hospitals; a coffin with a dead body is not held at home for three days, but instead the relatives visit the deceased in a chapel. According to the cultural anthropologist Joanna Tokarska-Bakir, “contemporary culture, with its cult of youth, if not immortality, is scared stiff of death […] The world, which doesn’t believe in any truths anymore, which perceives everything as a mask and appearance, defends against this most inevitable of truths in any way it can.”
Light in photography is a vast theme, described in countless publications and articles. Any given photograph or image may be analysed from the perspective of light. Thanks to light, we are able to see, take pictures, but also look at them. The history of photography, closely tied to scientific and technological progress, is specifically permeated with technological struggles related to registration of light. It is a history of attempts to ‘tame’ it, to record an image in the shortest time possible, or to create artificial conditions that will enable photographing despite its lack.
To celebrate the Year of the Avant-garde 2017, Archeology of Photography Foundation is exhibiting a selection of Zbigniew Dłubak’s iconic photographs from 1947-1950 for the very first time. In the exhibition Dłubak’s works are juxtaposed with the contemporary series by Basia Sokołowska titled Equivalents 2017. The exhibition is part of Living Archives, a current series of events organised by the APF, opening up the oeuvre of acclaimed artists to contemporary interpretations.
This exhibition marks the first presentation of works by this author at the Archeology of Photography Foundation gallery, and is also an inauguration of the Foundation’s works on the photographer’s archive. Jan Jastrzębski (1925-2001) worked as a reporter for Kraj and Miesięcznik Polski (The Polish Review / La Revue Polonaise). He photographed Polish province and industry, and was also involved in creating documentations of works of art and landscape photography.
Anna Zagrodzka’s project Collection refers to the system of teaching art history based on using visual material on slides. This method, commonly used before the arrival of digital reproduction, is still applied in many lectures.
The Archive of Zofia Chomętowska’s works is now divided between two collections, the Museum of Warsaw (the photographs of the capital from the interwar period, during the war and post-war materials) and the Archaeology of Photography Foundation (photographs from her native Polesie and her émigré life in Argentina).
In a new publication, prepared jointly by both institutions, the artist’s entire archive has been made available in order to present the unique biography of Chomętowska – a photographer, a courageous, independent and modern woman. The publication presents 597 photos collected in four albums: The Enthusiast (1912–1935), The Professional (1936–1944), Documentalist (1945) and Émigré (1946–1981).
The exhibition Lux is a continuation of the Archeology of Photography Foundation’s series of projects based on collaborations with contemporary artists which aim to inspire theoretical reflections on important issues for the history of photography and research practices. The formal background and past ventures of the artists invited to this project are radically different. This heterogeneity opened an opportunity for a multi-layered examination of a theme which is broad and inspiring in various respects – from metaphysical to technological, but which is also dangerously easy to trivialise.
The Archeology of Photography Foundation presents its latest publication, EMULSION. Over eighty illustrations – archival photographs and selected contemporary works presented in the book tell the story of deterioration, operations performed by artists, and the materiality of photography. This subjective selection allows us to see how photographs described as “objects for conservation” take abstract forms and visually come across as something more than just a testimony of time.
We invite you to an afternoon with photography which takes place on October 4 between 4-6.30 pm at the Museum of Modern Art, 51 Emilii Plater St in Warsaw. It will be devoted to a double book launch: of Clément Chéroux’s The Vernacular. Essays in History of Photography by (publ. Archaelogy of Photography Foundation, 2014) and Between the Document and the Experiment. Photography in Polish Photographic Periodicals 1945-1989 by Karolina Ziębińska-Lewandowska (publ. Bęc Zmiana and Archaelogy of Photography, 2014.)