Zbigniew Dłubak - Kids Dream About Birds
#photography & visual arts
no-image, Zbigniew Dłubak - Kids Dream About Birds
Zbigniew Dłubak's photography is as intriguing as it is puzzling. His theoretical work on photography and the visual arts contributed to the approximation of the two so-far distinct fields.
kids dream about birds
Zbigniew Dłubak, "Kids dream about birds", Photography, 1947, Photo: Fundacja Archeologia Fotografii / Armelle Dłubak
Zbigniew Dłubak's photography is as intriguing as it is puzzling. His theoretical work on photography and the visual arts contributed to the approximation of the two so-far distinct fields
The subjects of Zbigniew Dłubak's pictures are shot in extreme close-up and often out of focus rendering the viewer's task of identifying the object of the photograph difficult. The exhibition of mysterious plants, pieces of grass, small twigs, is just as poetic and lyrical as the title of the exhibtion - Dzieci śnią o ptakach/ Kids dream about birds. The phrase is borrowed from Pablo Neruda's Heart of Magellan, translated by Czesław Miłosz.
The aim of these experiments was to distract the viewer from perceiving images in a habitual and routine way. The picture attracted the eye, intrigued and fascinated the viewer with its otherness and ambiguity of form. In his artistic practice, Dłubak was the first to draw attention to the development of new media of film and photography. He considered photography to be a development of the actual consciousness of modern man, evolving and developing his knowledge of the surrounding world.
Dłubak presented his experimental work with photography in post-World War II Poland which was dominated by pictorialism, sightseeing and native traditions. His art and theoretical texts were truly unique and he continues to influence generations. The Club of Young Artists and Scientists in Warsaw – which the artist co-founded – was dominated by ideas of the approximation of modern science, technology and art, and inspired by the ideas put forward by pre-war avant-garde. Their art was based on the discoveries of what inconceivably great – and inconceivably small – things man was capable of seeing at the time. Inspiration was drawn from scientific depictions of the world, as seen through the inventions of telescopes, microscopes, X-rays, and of course – the camera lens. In 1948, traces of these efforts were showed at the Exhibition of Modern Art in Krakow. Dłubak's photographic enlargements of cabbage leaves or watch mechanisms contributed to the development of this current.
That same year, in Z rozmyślań o fotografice/ From thoughts on photography Dłubak wrote about a "lack of common language and mutual endeavours between photography and other visual arts". His photographic works and developments on the theory of photography approximated the fields of photography and the visual arts in an unprecedented way. Dłubak argued that the inherent feature of the photographic medium is its direct relationship with the subject. The basic material in a photo, is, in his opinion, "the object in the optical transposition". Yet this does not hinder the photographer’s activity. In addition to the realistic convention of image reproduction, there might be another, depicting the surrounding reality in a new and inventive way – through the use of foreshortening, large close-ups, or the use of specific lighting. The artist drew attention to the similarities this inventive convention showed to other visual arts, through the emphasis on pictorial elements: composition, arrangements of spots and lines, and tonal values.
The photographic and artistic activities of Zbigniew Dłubak were a cornerstone of a 2012 exhibition in Warsaw at the Photographic Archeology Foundation gallery in Warsaw presenting shots of Warsaw's iconic stadium being built in the 1950s.
Author: Magdalena Wróblewska, Krzysztof Jurecki, (Museum of Art in Łódź)