Nicolas Grospierre. The Picture Which Grows

Nicolas Grospierre’s (b. 1975) The Picture Which Grows, realised in the apartment of photographer Tadeusz Sumiński (1924-2009), is another event in the Archaeology of Photography Foundation’s Living Archives series devoted to establishing creative dialogue between the classic figures of Polish photography and contemporary artists.
The Picture Which Grows is an attempt to confront, through photographic installation, the ideas of tidiness and untidiness, the static and the dynamic, order and entropy. The exhibition is on from 11 June on Monday-Friday 16.00-20.00, Saturday 12.00-17.00. Photo gallery >>>
The project launches on 22 May at Koszykowa Street 1 m 82 and in the green yard. Between 15.00-20.00, the public will be able to watch the artist working and participate in a family cyanotype workshop and in the event FotoRejestr. Dusting Off Family Archives!
Grospierre’s project confronts the order of Sumiński’s archive with a photographic method that undermines that order. The installation consists of Sumiński’s archive and some 800 images of the apartment and the archive, created by Grospierre and displayed on the walls, floor, and ceiling.
Grospierre photographed the room, made a print and mounted the print in the same room in order to photograph it again, make a print etc. – up to a point where the room would be completely filled with images of itself. Composed into the views of the room are Sumiński’s photographs, which organise entropic vortexes, disrupting the project’s apparent order and logic. In Grospierre’s installation each successive photograph is not only a consequence of the previous one, but couldn’t actually exist without it. In this perspective, we have to do here with a photograph afforded an inner growth mechanism by means of which the picture literally grows. The project is open-ended, providing for no definitive conclusion, because it is always possible to take another photograph and add it to the installation, and so on ad infinitum.
The method adopted by Grospierre is also a commentary on, and parody of, the contemporary world’s photographic ‘spill’, where everyone, everywhere and at all times takes pictures. Except the first one, the artist doesn’t try to create a new image – all subsequent ones are potentially contained in the first one.
Grospierre performs his intervention in the apartment of Tadeusz Sumiński, where much of the latter’s archive is stored. Sumiński is remembered primarily as a landscape photographer. His archive includes negatives and prints of towns and villages all over Poland, but also images from foreign trips, industrial photographs, portraits or fashion photographs. Using Sumiński’s images in his installation, Grospierre refers also to their aesthetic order – their careful composition, sometimes virtually abstract form, their clear geometric harmonies. The order of the archive and of the images comprising it will be confronted with the entropic mechanism set in motion by the artist.

The Living Archives project is funded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
Workshop co-funded by the City of Warsaw.
Partners: Warsaw European Capital of Culture 2016, Galeria Asymetria
Media patrons: Portal Rzeczpospolita, Plac Defilad,,, Miesięcznik Foto

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