The exhibition Between the Frames. Photographs of Zofia Chomętowska from Polesie 1925-1939 marks the first comprehensive presentation of photographs by Zofia Chomętowska (1902-1991) in Poland in over 30 years. The artist, an exceptional and somewhat forgotten figure of Polish culture, was among the best-known and most awarded photographers of the 1930s. The Archeology of Photography Foundation, which researches Zofia Chomętowska’s archive, presents hitherto unknown photographs as well as celebrated and award-winning works made by this captivating artist in the interwar period. The exhibition features over 80 photographs from the Polesie region where Chomętowska was born and lived for many years. This was also where she began photographing: friends visiting her family estate, local merchants, hunters, family reunions, as well as people in rural markets, fishermen, and inhabitants of nearby villages. The presentation of this material provides a unique opportunity to revisit the past of this exceptional, multicultural region – once inhabited by the local Poleszuk people as well as Poles, Belarusians, Ukrainians, and Jews – which no longer exists in its historical shape.
Kept in Buenos Aires, where the artist had moved in 1948, the photographic archive of Zofia Chomętowska remained inaccessible for over seventy years. Research on this material, conducted by the Archeology of Photography Foundation since 2008, made it possible to present a comprehensive selection of works to a wider audience. The exhibition, organized collaboration with the History Meeting House in Warsaw offers a new perspective on photography in the interwar Poland.
The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue with over two hundred state-of-the-art images, as well as contributions by eminent scholars analyzing the photographer’s body of work as well as the history of the photographed region. The book addresses the topical issue of Polish borderlands. By offering an insight into hitherto unknown works of this eminent artist, it not only seeks to redefine her oeuvre, frequently associated with traditional photography, but also to revise the partial, romantic view of the Eastern Borderlands found in many popular photo albums. The album, with a professional and clean crisp, is available in Polish and in English.
The exhibition and the accompanying publication were first presented at the National Museum of History in Minsk, and was part of the program of the Polish Presidency of the EU Council, founded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.
Photographs in the exhibition come from the family archive researched by the Archeology of Photography Foundation and the collection of Emilia Borecka.
Between the Frames. Photographs of Zofia Chomętowska from Polesie 1925-1939
History Meeting House, Warsaw, ul. Karowa 20
Opening: June 26, 2012
The exhibition runs through September 9th, 2012
Organizers: Archeology of Photography Foundation, History Meeting House
Curator and editor of the publication: Karolina Puchała-Rojek