#photography & visual arts
Michał Łuczak’s award-winning Brutal photography series will be displayed outside his native Poland for the first time in London’s Doomed Gallery from 5th to 8th November 2015.
Once a symbol of modernity and prosperity when it was built in 1972, Katowice Railway Station ended up as a brutalist ruin in the centre of the biggest, post-industrial coal-mining district in Poland. On one hand, it was a place where people get on and off the train but, on the other, it became an area of unusual "passengers" who didn't have any tickets and never got on any of the trains.
Hanging around with an old-fashioned Graflex camera, Michał Łuczak unintentionally became one of those who were not travelling anywhere. People started asking him questions, mostly asking for money to get a drink or food, but sometimes also to be photographed. As he says, they were the ones who had created there a kind of a parallel world which existed on the sidelines of normal life.
The station was finally demolished at the beginning of 2011 and the people he met also disappeared. Now a modern glass-and-steel shopping mall with a space for train passengers was constructed in its place. It was the last significant example of brutalist architecture in Poland.
Michał Łuczak: a short bio
Michał Łuczak works in Warsaw, yet lives in Katowice, and often draws on his Silesian roots. As a documentary photographer, he concentrates on intimate and often seemingly trivial stories. He is a member of the Sputnik Photos collective. Łuczak’s photographs have been exhibited around the world, in countries including Poland, UK, Spain, Iceland, Japan, Netherlands, USA, Germany, Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Sources: Doomed Gallery, Grażyna Siedlecka, IAM. Compiled by AZ, 19 Oct 2015