Five award-winning Polish photographers join up with five local writers in Iceland for the first Polish exhibition of the "IS (not)" project.
For some, Iceland is a far-off island shaped somewhat like a sheep. Surrounded by water, laden with a heavy fog, it's in some sense cut off from the rest of the world, giving way to visions of raw fantasy where elfish legends take on dynamic proportions and day falls into night
Five renowned Polish photographers enter this distant world as part of the IS(not) project, produced by the International Sputnik Association of Photo Journalists. Through the language of contemporary photography, it presents a multi-faceted society - set against the backdrop of a breathtaking landscape, charming traditions and inevitable industrial progress. Each photograph is accompanied by the prose of five writers from the island.
Michał Łuczak and Hermann Stefansson follow the path from the often rigid laws of nature through the supernatural world, from birth to death, depicting such concepts as loneliness, brotherhood, despair and joy. It shows Icelanders constant battle with unbridled nature. There's no room for superfluous efforts here - everything is limited to the bare minimum necessary for survival.
Jan Brykczyński's works are a tribute to the family. In his portraits, animals are on par with humans and the roles of horses or sheep just as significant to everyday life. to obraz rodziny, w której zwierzę zajmuje równie ważne miejsce, co człowiek. Kristín Heiða Kristinsdóttir describes the ritualistic images of these interactions between man and his animals.
Adam Pańczuk and the writer Sindri Freysson pursue an answer to the question of what shapes the Icelandic mind through local mythology.
Agnieszka Rayss, together with the poet Sigurbjörg Þrastardóttir, take a look at the image of water for the people of Iceland. The two stood at the edge of Iceland's lakes and its modern swimming pools, from age-old meanings and functions to today's tourism. Today water is the island's gold and it's been sold to those in search of luxurious vacations.
Rafał Milach explores the island with a ravenous hunger, greeting every person, peering into every corner, examining every object. His series of photographs is a jumbled scrapbook of people and parts that make up a diversified picture of the island. HuldarBreiðfjörð's own journal of the pair's voyage through the island serves as a guide.
Following the exhibition in Gdańsk between February 16 - March 13, 2011, the show travels to the B&B Gallery in Bielsko-Biała between April 8 - May 11, 2011 and at the Skwer venue in Warsaw between June 20 - July 10, 2011.
The exhibition is accompanied by an 240-page album of 238 photographs, accompanying texts and a multimedia disc.
Curator: Andrzej Kramarz
National Museum in Gdańsk
Gdańska Galeria Fotografii
ul. Grobla I 8/11
Source: press materials