Gesticulations, 1970 - 1978

“Systems”, a group of painterly and photographic works, formed a point of departure for the photographic series titles „Gesticulations”. The painting part consists of a series of abstract works in which Dlubak divided the canvas into sets of regular stripes in various shades of one color. The photographic part on the other hand comprised two series “Gesticulations” and “Collection”. The former is a set of plates, 12 black-and-white photographs each, mounted on canvas to create stripes. Every photographs features a different gesture from a sequence planned by Zbigniew Dlubak. The poses were presented by a nude model photographed from the knees up to the neck. The photographs also depict the model’s hands against a neutral backdrop or her crotch. Contrary to “Gesticulations” which possess a fixed structure, the “Collection” is a set of arbitrary gestures or one pose captured on a number of photographs. The series also includes four-element plates which depict the same gesture performed by three female models.


Nude female torsos, photographed from the neck down to the knees against a black background, perform precisely planned gestures: raising and lowering their arms, covering and uncovering the pubic mound, breasts, shoulder blades. Mechanical and impersonal as the gestures may seem, the models’ bodies themselves bear individual marks such as wrinkles, hairs, or tan. As with the hands series, the different gestures have been grouped into sequences of six or twelve elements.
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The majority of the photographs in the "Gesticulations" series show hands performing various gestures against a black or white background. Clenching and unclenching, putting hands together and taking them apart, joining the fingers and separating them, twisting the wrists, counting off – these are but some of the hand movements Dłubak photographed in series of twelve, sixteen or twenty four elements. The successive elements differ little, so their actual sequence is sometimes hard to guess. The series raises questions about the contextual nature of gestures, about the doer’s ability to influence their meaning and emotional message.
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