Wiktoria Wojciechowska is a photographer and video artist whose works oscillate between documentary and creation. She is a winner of the Leica Newcomer Award and author of the book Short Flashes.
Wojciechowska studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Her degree piece, which she realised in the Photographic Narration workshop ran by Prot Jarnuszkiewicz, was titled Own Place. The series is comprised of portraits of persons who are inside a house, but photographed from the outside, through a window. In this way, two spaces fuse: the house’s interior and its surrounding. In the text accompanying photographs, the author writes about contemporary nomadism, the constant search for a better place to live, and about the need to domesticate. Her photographs are intended to express a longing for a state of stability. The project won an award in the Photo Diploma Award 2013 competition.
The series Short Flashes was created during the photographer’s journey to China. The author felt isolated and was troubled by her unfamiliarity with the language and local customs. Rushing cyclists and scooter drivers covered by colourful plastic sheets were as anonymous as she was. Photographing them became a means of adapting to the new place, describing it. The portraits were taken during the period of frequent typhoons, in 2013/2014. After her return, the photographer reminisced:
I walked, observed, and tried to understand the new reality. In the streets, many people passed me on scooters and bicycles. I wanted to remember their faces, emotions, and fatigue; the colours and shapes of the glossy raincoats moving in the wind.
The photographs were taken with a flash lamp, which created an effect of ‘freezing’ the figures in the photographs, capturing them still, as well as emphasising the candy-coloured tones of the coats.
In 2015, these photographs won the Leica Newcomer Award competition. According to the jury, in the spontaneous pictures, she managed to capture the authenticity of behaviours. In May 2016, Bemojake publishing house released a book under the same title, which was inspired by Wiesław Myśliwski’s novel A Treatise on Shelling Beans.
This project was produced in 2014-2016 in Ukraine. It revolves around civilians who took part in the Euromaidan, fought on the Russian front, or battled the pro-Russian separatists in eastern and southern Ukraine. The portraits are accompanied by video projections, photographs from the front, and collages. The author focuses on a man, looks for suppressed emotions while avoiding breakthrough moments and climactic occurrences. Wojciechowska also uses video and photos taken with the soldiers’ mobile phones. Marta Królak, the curator of the exhibition at the Biuro Wystaw gallery in Warsaw (16-30 December, 2016) summed up this project:
The reflection in the work of Wiktoria Wojciechowska doesn’t only concern the fragility of human life and body. The author also raises questions about the timeliness of the figure a soldier, a man, an adult.
The photographs were awarded during the portfolio review at the Photomonth in Kraków (2015).