Asymmetry, 1983-2000

Dłubak started taking photographs for the series in 1983, two years after starting a same-titled painting series. The paintings are filled with flat minimalist compositions, often comprising just two elements: a uniform background and a fragment of a rectangle, arranged so that its sides are not parallel with the edges of the painting. The background and the rectangle are rendered in slightly different hues of the same colour, causing them to blur in together in the viewer’s eye. The photographic "Asymmetry" project comprises several series: trees, paperboards, faces, fragments of the body – the result of years of scrutiny over seemingly uniform or symmetrical surfaces of objects, plants, biological spaces. "Asymmetry" is also Dłubak’s manifesto about the photographic image, which, he says, does not adhere to reality. According to Dłubak, photography is always a distortion and a creation, and is always asymmetrical towards the world.


Foreshortened images of faces highlight the arches of the eyebrows, the depth of the eye sockets, the curvature of the cheeks and mouth. They are yet another study of the similarities and differences between the two sides of something – the human face, in this case. Shown in a long sequence, they are compared, provoking the question of whether the use of the same deforming perspective can erase their individual features.
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Close-up images of the female body – mouth, vagina and buttocks – form the longest series within the "Asymmetry" project. Fragments of the body have photographed from a very close distance. As a result, it is hard to guess what the abstract compositions of shapeless forms and shiny surfaces really represent.
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Sheets of paperboard have been cut through and the photographer precisely demarcates the in-focus area and the less sharp surfaces. He also arranges sheets of paperboard next to fragments of the body: chest, stomach, buttocks. In doing so, he pays attention to the details – the micro-particles pressed into the paper mass or the tiny hairs on the model’s skin – analyzing differences between the two surfaces, scrutinizing their texture, colour and the play of light on them.
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Tree trunks captured from a frog perspective form a vertical axis of composition, one that is also an axis of comparison of the two sides of a tree. Female bodies photographed by Dłubak from a similar perspective rise upwards like obelisks, the thighs and torsos filling the frame, becoming monumental. The similarity of perspective calls into question the way we view these two different objects – the tree and the body – and the associations this evokes. The tree and the body acquire common attributes: stability, monumentality, vitality, sensuality.
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