Marta Zgierska is a visual artist from Lublin. She graduated from the Photography Department at the Łódź Film School, previously studying Journalism and Polish Studies at the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University in Lublin. Her works touch upon the issues of withdrawal and trauma.
Visual artist from Lublin. Her works touch upon the issues of withdrawal and trauma.
The Praga Harbour
She debuted her works in 2012 at the now-defunct International Festival of Photography by the Young in Jarosław, where she showed her series titled The Praga Harbour. The photographs portrayed the areas on the right bank of Vistula River in Warsaw, which were to lose their unique, raw character with the approaching arrival of new residential projects. Zgierska's pictures show winter landscapes, peculiar mediocrity and progressing deterioration.
In old Polish this word stands for ‘appetite, desire, great wish for something,’ but also ‘teeth numbness’ in colloquial language. According to Zgierska, contemporary reality is powered by illusions and fabricated needs. Her photographs reflect on contemporaneity, within which nature has become exotic, strange.
The artist illustrates a longing for something primordial, definite, larger than her, and at the same time deals with her own fears and withdrawal. The set comprises a combination of spontaneous and staged photographs; eczema on the neck is juxtaposed with a choppy surface of water during rain.
Zgierska's most awarded cycle consists of photographs staged in a small space. The works which brought her broad recognition were initially intended as illustrations of dreams, paranoias, and anxieties. The message later became more intimate, as a result of events personally experienced by the artist. Her past fears returned with double force. Her attempt to enclose her worries in an aesthetic, safe box had failed. The struggles turned out to be more immediate, while the creative distance redundant. Post is about trauma, frozen silence, and hidden tension. It is permeated by tormenting dreams and obsessions. It is the artist's attempt at forming intimate and bold connection with the viewer. Post has been exhibited in South Korea, Spain, Tunisia, and Sweden, with further shows scheduled in France and Japan.
The project earned the artist the prestigious Prix HSBC pour la Photographie in February 2016. The award included a publication of the artist's monograph by the Actes Sud publishing house and a series of exhibitions across France, curated by Diane Dufour.
In 2015, LensCulture featured the artist on the Emerging Talent list, which was based on submissions from over 112 countries.
- 2016 Post, Festival Circulation(s), Paris, France
- 2015 Post, Malmo Fotobiennal, Sweden
- 2015 Post, Pa-ta-ta Festival, Granada, Spain
- 2015 Post, Rencontres de Ghar el Melh, Tunisia
- 2012 TIFF Festival, Debuts Section, Wrocław, Poland
- 2012 Oskoma, FF/Imaginarium Gallery, Łódź , Poland
- 2015 LensCulture Emerging Talents, SF Camerawork, San Francisco, USA
- 2015 Post, DongGang International Photo Festival, South Korea
- 2015 Post, Poznan Photo Diploma Award, Biennale of Photography in Poznań, Poland
- 2014 Future Condition, Photokina, Cologne, Germany
- 2014 Eastreet, East Poland House in Brussels, Belgium
- 2014 Eastreet, KD Gallery, Nancy, France
- 2014 Eastreet, Lublin, Poland
- 2012 The Praga Harbour, MFFM – International Festival of Photography by the Young, Jarosław, Poland
Author: Michał Dąbrowski, transl. AM, February 2016