Photographer, designer, graduate of the Polish National Film, Television and Theatre School in Łódź. Born in 1975
Mikołaj Długosz makes a living as a photographer for illustrated magazines, however he is also involved in independent artistic activity, focused in major part on photography. He is most recognised for his series of "found photographs", usually drawn from the Internet.
Długosz has published an album of photographs from his Real Photo series, consisting of images found on Allegro, an online shopping site in Poland. The images depict sellers touting their wares, often in comical or even grotesque poses or contexts. The practical purpose of these images was transformed through the artist's viewpoint into something that aspires to art in that the preparation, care and form are all intact, even if the result is more kitsch than gallery-worthy. In presenting these photos - with a black bar across the eyes of any unwilling participants, Długosz takes a look into the lives of these people, their homes and the objects that they once owned and now encourage others to take over. In describing the series, Długosz says, "These photos quite often have stunning composition, completely by accident. Their authors weren't thinking of capturing a decent shot, they just wanted to display the product. They're clumsy, photographically 'incorrect', but so authentic".
He has also published Such Nice Weather, Such a Pity We Must Go / Pogoda ładna, aż żal wyjeżdżać, a collection of Polish postcards from the '70s and '80s. One of his most recent endeavors is a series of mugs designed with references to the type of crockery issued by socialist co-ops in the People's Republic of Poland. They come in limited edition sets, with a trademark stripe around the rim and '50s-era logography, available online and at the Bęc Zmiana Foundation shop in Warsaw.
Długosz's work is a reflection of the foundations of contemporary Polish consumer culture. As in the exhibition "1994", he presents images of the times that are defined by the turbo-capitalistic acceleration of the Balcerowicz Plan, dreams of products and consumerism, things available for half price and mass production in supermarkets. The photos shown at the exhibition are pack shots made by Długosz in 1994 for advertising purposes.
The artist has explained his stance towards art and photography as a critical observation of a highly consumerist field:
"Photography, as art, is dead. The truth is, it's a purely utilitarian art at the moment. We use it to make magazine covers, illustrate articles, to make it nice and sweet. We use it as decoration, but there's nothing new in photography at all".
Source: Bęc Zmiana Foundation.
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