In 2003, Konrad Pustoła took photographs around some print shops in the Warsaw suburb of Legionowo, focusing on the visual language deployed by advertisers.
Pustoła documented branches of the firm U Adasia (‘Adam’s Place’), which is still in operation today. It specialises in photocopying, producing rubber stamps, key cutting, engraving, binding dissertations, printing photographs and banners. For many years, it had invested in an extensive range of outdoor advertising which impinged on the appearance of public space. The firm’s branches were plastered in adverts, sample signboards and street signs, and the pavements in front of them were taken over by ‘people stopper’ boards.
Alongside these photographs at the Postdocument exhibition Missing Documents: Photographs of the Polish Transformation after 1989, there was also a satirical litany to the Master of Polish Initiative, which, as Lidia Pańków wrote for Dwutygodnik:
…induces a trance-like state, hyperbolising the sensation of chaos, tawdriness and exuberance of small business.
Pustoła uses unnaturally coloured photographs to highlight his ironic attitude towards the spaces depicted. They are the result of cross-processing, i.e. using the wrong chemicals to develop photographic film.
U Adasia is a study of the Polish provinces in the free market economy, not to mention a portrait of the post-communist transformation period.
Originally written in Polish, translated by AG, edited by MB, Dec 2018