The Little Man/ Awaiting exhibition is a combination of the photographs of two artists – Zofia Rydet, a classic polish photographer and Julia Staniszewska, an acclaimed new generation artist. This show initiates the Living Archives – a long-term project of the Archeology of Photography Foundation the main purpose of this project being; to place historical photographs into a wider cultural context through reinterpretation and rereading made by contemporary artists.
The starting point for this exhibition is the Little Man album by Zofia Rydet, containing a canonical cycle of children‘s photographs within a graphic design by Wojciech Zamecznik. In the Asymetria Gallery visitors will see 30 works from this book selected by Julia Staniszewska’s, in combination with her own photography from an infertility clinic. This photograph gives Rydet’s works a new and distinct context.
2011 marks the 100th anniversary of Zofia Rydet’s birthday, and at the same time the 50th anniversary of her debut – her first solo show was in Gliwice in 1961 where she presented photographs of children taken over a period of a few years, in Poland, Albania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Italy. In 1965 she published her album the Little Man – containing over a 140 photographs of children arranged into 15 thematic cycles alongside fragments of Janusz Korczak’s writing.
The book became one of the most important albums from the history of polish photography in the 20th century. As Zofia Rydet said in an interview with Wiesława Wierzchowska:
‛While working on the exhibition and the Little Man album, I wanted to reject the stereotype of the idyllic-angelic childhood and to show the child with complexity of experiences and reactions and through this, to talk about man – because like Korczak said <<Everything that happens in a dirty adult world, also happens in the world of children.>>’(Project, 1979, nr 2)
In her later works, especially in her photomontage series, maternity and waiting, the theme returns repeatedly. This problem is highlighted by Julia Staniszewska in work especially prepared for this exhibition. She does not take children’s photographs, she is interested in adults who want to have children. Who look at them with the same great affection that Rydet had? And why?
To Living Archives invites Warsaw European Capital of Culture 2016 – only candidate.
Project Living Archives in 2011 supported by Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.