#photography & visual arts
Tomasz Tomaszewski is one of Poland's most renowned contemporary photographers. His achievements include a number of exhibitions and photographic publications.
Tomasz Tomaszewski is one of Poland's most renowned contemporary photographers. His achievements include a number of exhibitions and photographic publications, among them, OSTATNI ZYDZI POLSCY / THE LAST POLISH JEWS and CYGANIE. INNI LUDZIE TACY JAK MY / GYPSIES - OTHER PEOPLE LIKE US. With his installation titled PREZENT / A GIFT (a glass table filled with hundreds of slides), the artist poses essential questions about the meaning of photography at a time when this form is undergoing fundamental changes, in both the technical and aesthetic realms.
In the catalogue to this exhibition, Marek Grygiel, its curator and simultaneously head of the UPAP-CCA Little Gallery, writes: "Photography has become extremely popular in recent years. The ethos of the photographer - the artist as well as the witness of the reality that surrounds us - is clearly being eroded. We are inundated with millions of photographs. We live in a world of 'image inflation' that is characterized by the recording and reproduction of photographs on a never before seen scale. In making a gift of thousands of slides (which make up his installation titled "A GIFT") to his friend and fellow photographer Jerzy Lapinski, Tomasz Tomaszewski perhaps wished through this gesture to share a bitter reflection on the condition of contemporary photography. He has simultaneously placed the slides in the right hands, doing so as if he was giving a part of himself. After all, these hundreds of slides represent a very essential and important fragment of his own output, his own life. The gift that his friend has received is more than an innovative gadget, a living room coffee table that will astound any and all guests. For Tomaszewski, the home is an unusually significant place, a place where one most frequently encounters that which, he says, used to be called the family. The possible interpretations for his gesture are manifold. Many could be extended to the seemingly ever-more fragmented community of photographers. In giving such a personal gift, Tomasz Tomaszewski simultaneously invites us to take part in a discussion that might help to define the place of photography in today's difficult, none too friendly atmosphere that is stripped of all human warmth and characterized by a drive to achieve everything at any price without regard to anything. This is one of the many thoughts that can be offered about this moderately-sized glass object filled with a vast number of small, rectangular celluloid pieces of the world that will probably never be used individually or directly. It is not, however, the only possible reflection. The possible interpretations of Tomaszewski's gesture and his object are potentially limitless. This testifies to their symbolic simplicity and strong originality. Sometimes it is not the final work but the intuition embodied in a conscious, even private action that allows us to discover new horizons which we did not expect to exist. Given this, Tomek's gift is not only an unusual, symbolic surprise for a friend. It is just as surprising to all who are not indifferent about photography or its future."
Press photography is the primary focus of Tomasz Tomaszewski (born 1953). His images appear in the world's most prominent magazines, many of which are published in numerous countries around the world (e.g. "NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC"). He is the winner of many Polish and international photography awards and teaches photography at art schools in Poland, the United States, Germany, and Italy.
Exhibition opening: December 2, 2003, 6 p.m.
Mala Gallery UPAP / CCA
Mala Galeria Zwiazku Polskich Artystow Fotografikow
Centrum Sztuki Wspolczesnej
Plac Zamkowy 8, 00-277 Warszawa
tel. (+48 22) 831 23 39