Photographs by Stefania Gurdowa, source: www.gurdowa.pl
Photographs by Stefania Gurdowa, source: www.gurdowa.pl

The exhibition "Negatives are to be stored" presents photographs by a Polish artist Stefania Gurdowa (1988-1968) who until recently remained completely unknown to the general public.

A box of glass negatives signed with her name was found bricked up on the attic of one of the tenement houses in Dębica - a small town in southern Poland. Most of them contain vivid portraits of anonymous people who lived in the neighbourhood in the interwar period. Usually, each negative contains two portraits. Earlier on, it was a frequent habit, especially among thrifty studio photographers. However, upon further inspection of these compositions it becomes less and less obvious that it was sheer coincidence which drew these particular pairs of people together.

The double nature of portraits by Gurdowa is based on encounters and clashes, variations of scale and contrast, as well as other similarities and differences. For example, did these two sisters come to the photographer together? Or is it possible that these two ladies who never knew each other had the same dress tailored by the same dressmaker? Why do we see on one film an old woman whose face is slim, and right next to her a young girl who is full of energy and life? Is it a coincidence or an individual reflection on transitoriness of life?

On the one hand, photographs by Stefania Gurdowa perfectly fit their era and place of origin, demanding that the names and stories of the people portrayed be restored and annotated under the photos. On the other, however, there is something archetypal about them which makes them very modern. They escape any ethnographic characterization, equally stirring the meticulousness of an archivist and the sensibility of a poet.

Organizers: Imago Mundi Foundation, Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Red Barn Gallery.
Partners: Ethnographic Museum in Cracow, Photo Agency Visavis.pl.

More information about the artist and her photographs:: www.gurdowa.pl.

Exhibition open from May 1 until May 29, 2010.

The exhibition is one of the highlights of Polish Cultural Week in Belfast.
The project is part of "POLSKA! YEAR" - Polish Season in Great Britain.

Red Barn Gallery
43b Rosemary Street
Belfast BT1 1QD

Source: www.polskayear.pl

 

Rate:
(28 votes)
Anna Mirkes-Radziwon, fot. Aleksandr Susłow

The Adam Mickiewicz Institute has just launched a brand-new Russian language version! However, unlike the Polish and English versions, the Russian site is...

Piotr Beczała, photo: Anja Frers / DG / Universal Music Polska

Three Polish opera singers – Piotr Beczała, Aleksandra Kurzak and Mariusz Kwiecień – have been nominated Readers' Award of the International Opera Awards,...

Katarzyna Figura, photo: East News

The shelves may have been empty, but there was plenty of glamour in Communist Poland for those who knew where to look. Here is a tribute to five actresses...

Gołąbki, photo: East News

Polish and Jewish culinary traditions have strongly intertwined, and despite the historical events and the extent of time that has passed – the common cuisine...

Piotr Pendysz feeding Wojtek,circa 1944, photo: AA's archive

Culture.pl's brand new series 'One Photo One Story' sheds light on fascinating snapshots of Polish history by telling their tale in a clear and entertaining...

  •  
  • 1 of 468

The International Organ Music Festival in Pelplin had its predecessor in the Pelplin Chamber Concerts series that was run in the Pelplin Cathedral by the local...

Museum Palace in Wilanów

"Ida" Pawła Pawlikowskiego walczy o People's Choice Award, jedyną z Europejskich Nagród Filmowych przyznawaną przez publiczność. Głosowanie potrwa do 31...

The Laszczyk Residence

Nick Cave 20,000 Days on Earth; photo courtesy of festival's organisers

Films screened at Sundance Festival in the recent years will be one of the highlights of Poznań’s Transatlantyk Festival opening next week.

  •  
  • 1 of 255

The culinary tastes of the generations born in the PPR (the Polish People’s Republic) were shaped mostly by canteen food and home cooking, which was based on...

Throughout centuries, Poland has been populated by very diverse ethnicities and linguistic groups, all of which have left a mark. Here's a look at some of the...

Andrzej Wajda during a rehearsal of "The Possessed" according to Fyodor Dostoyevsky, 1971, Teatr Stary in Krakow, photo: Wojciech Plewiński / Forum

Forty years since it irreversibly altered the Polish theatre scene, Wajda's adaptation of Dostoyevsky's "The Possesed" resurfaces on the small screen. "The...

Judas Priest, British Steel, cover art: Rosław Szaybo

Vinyl records combine visual art with musical mastery - and aficionados take interest in both. Here's a compilation of the most recognized album art created by...

Culture.pl presents a guide of a phantom city - a Warsaw that no longer exists.

  •  
  • 1 of 468