Pustoła’s project uses photography as a vehicle to let us see from the viewpoints of powerful people.
Before creating the Views, Pustoła moved to London. Wishing to feel like an insider, the photographer visited his friends and shot the views from their windows to familiarise himself with new places. Hollywood film scenes where the protagonists are looking outside directly inspired the artist to photograph the scenes that influential people see every day. The photos for this project were taken in Poland.
The Views are seemingly innocent pictures, not particularly beautiful on the whole, yet somebody looks out at them and, in a sense, they are defined by what they see.
Pustoła’s photographs give us a brief glimpse of common spaces through the eyes of a Nobel-prize-winner, a university dean, or a clergyman. The artist presents us with vistas normally reserved for a select few; sights we can usually only imagine.
In an interview entitled ‘A Gigantic Cognitive Camera’, Pustoła talked about the exhibition of these works in Rome, pointing out photography’s special ability to transport us to many places at the same time:
You can squint your eyes and take in Warsaw in one glance, from a viewpoint of power.
Pustoła’s typological series levels the field. This symbolic demystification liberates the viewer and empowers them in relation to the world. Through his photographs, the artist equalises the perspectives of people from different strata of society. His images are not thought-provoking per se; they rather help us to think.
Originally written in Polish, translated by MB, Nov 2018
This text is part of the project Metaphors of Independence: Poland In 100 Photos.
To coincide with the centenary of Poland regaining its independence, we have created a selection of photographs that allow us to understand both yesterday and today. A hundred photographs but so much more. Find out more.