Something from Nothing: Home Photography
#photography & visual arts
default, Something from Nothing:
Home Photography, Photo from the 'Zdecydowany Moment' (Decided Moment) series by Tymon Nogalski, photo: courtesy of the artist, center, zdecydowany-moment-tymon_nogalski_portfolio-35.jpg
How do you put together a book or an exhibition without going outside? Family albums, office paperclips, and a... messy bedroom will all come in handy.
Go through the archives
Marcin Grabowiecki’s Babie Lato (Indian Summer) is both a private album and a universal tale of summer. From his family archives, he has selected images evoking carefree holidays. This light-hearted, unpretentious concept won an award in Gliwice Czytelnia Sztuki’s first competition to design a photographic book.
Summer in Mazowsze
Marcin Grabowiecki | Babie Lato - Indian Summer
Photographer Rafał Siderski’s Wyjedź Zostań (Leave Stay) is devoted to his late father, whose story is built up from archival photos, objects and portraits. The project concerns yearning, loss and remembrance. In the text accompanying the pictures, Siderski affirms that his close relationship with his family helped him get to know his father better. As they looked through mementos and photographs together, it allowed them to briefly return to places and stories connected with the deceased. rafalsiderski.com
March ’68: An Émigré’s Family Album
Krzysztof Pacholak’s Don’t Live Alone immortalises details of a Warsaw student flat. The rented, furnished flat serves as the backdrop for the photographs.
In these surroundings, we see friends, loves and passions unfolding. Someone strums a guitar, someone revises for an exam. Without an observant documentalist, this stage in life might have gone unnoticed and been quickly forgotten. Another series by the photographer, Tomorrow Never Knows, is in a similar vein. pacholak.net
…and don’t worry about the effect
Grzegorz Stefański’s intimate photographs were taken in 2010. The idea behind this series is simple: a couple meet one sunny afternoon and spend several months together. All the while, they are accompanied by a camera to capture intimate moments, cooking together, smoking, etc. The artist posted these unposed snapshots to his blog and later published them as an art book. The series was also selected for the ShowOFF section at Kraków Photomonth Festival in 2010, and the exhibition was curated by Karol Radziszewski. grzegorzstefanski.com
A Sensitive Generation: Intimacy In Modern Polish Photography
Profesjonalne (Professional) is an experiment by Ewa Dyszlewicz. The artist invited various online photo-enhancement services to tweak her picture to make her ‘look pretty’. Following their interventions, artificial makeup was added, and the background and hairstyle were altered. The price of becoming ‘professionally beautiful’ ranged from 5 to 50zł, although one person did remark that her photograph required no retouching at all.
Horsing Around: Photo-Manipulated Images Of The January Uprising
The magic of collage lies in the fact that paper has a history of its own, asserted the painter, photographer and collagist Jan Dziaczkowski, whose work incorporated postcards, old magazines and picture albums.
He created several wonderful series, in which one may encounter utopian visions (e.g. Góry dla Warszawy [Mountains for Warsaw] and Keine Grenze) or a fascination for Japanese Monster Movies. In 2018, the Foundation for Visual Arts published a book of his works, three years after his life came to a premature tragic end.
The Collage Genius Who Died Too Young: Jan Dziaczkowski [video]
In 2009, Piotr Bekas exhibited sentimental photographs of soiled tissues in the ShowOFF section at Kraków Photomonth Festival. This subtle trolling by the photographer was his reaction to how more intimate images are displayed on the Internet. In his opinion, such practices force us to maintain some control over our own image. piotrbekas.pl
A Subjective Guide to Kraków Photomonth
Tymon Nogalski’s Zdecydowany Moment (Decided Moment) records installations made up of small everyday objects, which are potentially the result of boredom in the office (or at home). The title of these playful shots refers to the decisive moment concept popularised by Henri Cartier-Bresson. Whereas the French master of reportage considered the essence of photography to be anticipated, picturesque compositions, Nogalski sees it more as an opportunity to capture ‘the final moments of delicate constructions’ – on the condition that we believe what we are seeing, of course.
Don't take photos, just read
6 Erotic Masterpieces by Polish Painters
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'Kruche Medium – Rozmowy o Fotografii' (A Fragile Medium – Conversations about Photography) by Maciej Frąckowiak, photo: Pix.house
Instead of stepping into the shoes of an artist, one may of course sigh when faced with the ‘flood of images’, stop taking photographs altogether, and just read about them. Pix.house from Poznań has published two books of interviews by Maciej Frąckowiak, a social scientist and researcher of visual culture. Interviewing artists, curators and art critics, in Kruche Medium – Rozmowy o Fotografii (A Fragile Medium – Conversations about Photography) he takes an earnest look at images from a wide range of viewpoints. pix.house
Art History Makes Us Better: A Chat with DailyArt Founder Zuzanna Stańska
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'Wszyscy Jesteśmy Fotografami' (We’re All Photographers), volume 1, edited by Monika Szewczyk-Wittek & Katarzyna Sagatowska, photo: promo materials
polish contemporary photography
Likewise, the first volume of Wszyscy Jesteśmy Fotografami (We’re All Photographers), edited by Monika Szewczyk-Wittek and Katarzyna Sagatowska, contains twelve essays on the nature of Polish art, particularly visual artists and photographers. The book’s editors set out to create an inclusive guide to the world of photography and encourage discussions on the significance and contemporary role of the photographer. The texts are lavishly illustrated with works by the essay authors and other artists. wszyscyjestesmyfotografami.pl
So you see, it doesn’t take much to make the most of the artistic potential confined within the four walls of your home. All you need is a little imagination, which is luckily often the natural result of boredom, as many an artist can attest.
Originally written in Polish, Apr 2020, translated by Mark Bence with additions by AZ, May 2020
From Observation to Activism: Polish Nature Photography