'Can't Get Through the Chaos' is a document of a personal tragedy. Michał Adamski speaks of the year in which he said farewell to his parents. His photograph show real, tangible death, not its image.
The way we hide the dead has never been subject to discussion, we just always did it out of a necessity no one could justify.
– Karl Ove Knausgard, My Struggle
The main theme of the publication is not enclosed in one box, on the contrary – we see the tired faces of the photographer’s parents, a hospital bed, stained pyjamas, wrinkled hands and feet. Death is shown in a surprisingly direct way, there’s no hiding behind metaphors nor games with the reader.
The book is opened by a reproduction of an old picture of the parents hugging each other. This nostalgic memory is a beautiful idea of the past that hasn’t much in common with what happens later. On the pictures last moments of the parents’ lives are shown. The story takes place at home and in the hospital. Adamski’s photographs are not a recording of emotion, but an observation, an account, a summary of traumatic events.
The author’s self-portrait which was published in the book, was created when photographing pictures carried in his wallet. The young man’s picture in the middle is covered by the light, but the parents we can see clearly. From that moment the author doesn’t speak about “them”, but starts to talk with his own voice.
Images from his family home at the end of the book are filled with warm afternoon sun. Only at first glance entering well known spaces is calm, order and emptiness are striking.
The publication is accompanied by the author’s commentary about common silence during the sickness and solitary suffering after the parents’ death. The book was designed by Kasia Kubicka. When arranging the material, the author collaborated with Filip Ćwik and Monika Szewczyk-Wittek.
Author: Michał Dąbrowski, trans. N. Mętrak-Ruda, December 2015.
Michał Adamski - Nie mogę przebrnąć przez chaos / Can't get through the chaos
48 pages, 21 photographs, 500 copies