The winner of the second edition of the photo book competition organised by Czytelnia Sztuki, an art gallery in Gliwice, southern Poland, has been announced. The winning author was Wojciech Kostrzewa for his photographs of Berlin.
Alles ist Gut, Wojciech Kostrzewa, press materials
Almost forty projects had been submitted but only Kostrzewa’s Alles ist Gut was unanimously chosen by the jury. His work surprised with its consistency, modesty and well-chosen graphic design. It doesn’t tell the history of Berlin itself but shows the reality, which is presented in different shades of grey.
Apart from the main prize, the jury has highlighted several authors whose projects should also be noted. These are:
Adrian Lach and his Take a Breath project, which tells a story of the everlasting youth that lives in the punk subculture. His interesting pictures were appreciated for their combination of modest design and reference to the popularity of ‘80s fanzines.
Bartek Lurka in No!r presents a glimpse of the Norwegian lifestyle enriched with children's drawings.
No!r, photo Bartek Lurka, courtesy of author
The project by Rafał Siderski entitled Wyjedź zostań (Leave Stay), is about losing a loved one. It includes both pictures taken recently and archival materials. Apart from visual pieces, the project is embellished with text extracts.
The highlighted artists were: Aneta Wójcik, and the duet of Monika Kotecka and Kama Rokicka. Their projects were appreciated for their subtlety and sophistication.
Wyjedź zostań, photo: Rafał Siderski, courtesy of author
Last year, the main prize was won by Marcin Grabowiecki for his work, Babie lato (Indian Summer). This nostalgic piece of art was based on his family's archival photographs taken in Krynica, the largest spa town in Poland.
Babie lato, photo: Marcin Grabowiecki, courtesy of author
The competition is getting more popular in Poland due to the increasing interest in artistic photography, the popularity of photoblogs and the spread of self-publishing. The organisers are now thinking of the third edition, with hopes of an increasing number of projects.
The large group of enthusiasts who established the foundation Papier Bije Kamień ( Paper beats Rock), publishes photobooks, and their popularity is growing. Those by well known Polish artists such as Mateusz Sarełło, Michał Łuczak or Rafał Milach sell out within a few months. Their pieces have been appreciated at international competitions such as the International Photography Awards (Sarełło) or Picture of the Year (Milach).
The whole idea of the competition was commented on by Grzegorz Krawczyk (the manager of Czytelnia Sztuki, and the chairman of the jury).
Grzegorz Krawczyk photo: Gregor Laubsch courtesy of Czytelnia Sztuki
Most of the photographs revolve around very youthful themes: holidays, issues with adolescence and being a member of a subculture. It is not only about the picture on the paper but also there is something private – important for the author – he admits.
Krawczyk also says that most of the competitors are amateurs rather than professionals. He also hopes that this situation will change in the next editions of the competition.
The winning Wojciech Kostrzewa project will be released in May, 2014.
Author: Michał Dąbrowski, translated by Katarzyna Maksimiuk 03.02