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  Tiráž vydává Institut tvůrčí fotografie Slezské univerzity v Opavě, vychází od 23. 06. 2002, ISSN 1214-2913
Redakce Vladimír Birgus, Ondřej Durczak, Josef Moucha phpRS.

Weronika Łodzińska and Andrzej Kramarz: Home
Andrzej Mazurek, from the 1,62 Sguare Meter of Home series

Prague House of Photography, Prague, Václavské náměstí 31,  June 19 – July 27, 2007

Polish photography was for several decades strikingly influenced by various movements of conceptual, intermedial and experimental work. Their pioneers Józef Robakowski, Zbigniew Dłubak, Natalia LL, Andrzej Lachowicz, Jerzy Lewczyński, Stefan Wojnecki and others, by their ideationally demanding works inspired a number of other authors with whom they succeeded for quite a long period of time to hold sway over the Polish photographic scene. Even as late as the recent review of Polish Photography from the 90s of the 20th century Round the Decade (Wokol dekady) it seemed that, besides work of this orientation, hardly anything of worth appeared in Poland. But by then it was not so, for not only did the exhibition omit, say, such an internationally famous portraitist as Krzysztof Gieraltowski or the foremost documentarist Tomasz Tomaszewski, but also left out quite a number of authors of the younger generation who had sought inspiration in Andreas Gursky, Cindy Sherman or Martin Parr rather than in Zbigniew Dłubak.

The picture of contemporary Polish photography as presented in recent years by various exhibitions, the photographic periodicals Kwartalnik Fotografia, Pozytyw or Biuletyn Fotograficzny, photographic festivals in Lódź, Cracow and Warsaw or works by students of diverse school of photography, goes to show that modern photographic work in Poland is far more embracing, pervasive. Although conceptual and experimental work steadily holds an important place here, the position and quality of documentary and reportage photography, portraiture, artistic photography, staged work have grown in importance, as did also those of advertising and fashion photography. A point of some significance is the fact that many of these authors did not study at academies of fine art in Poland where until recently little attention was paid to e.g. documentary or portrait photography, but abroad, primarily in France and the Czech Republic. At the present time, many graduates of FAMU in Prague succwssfully assert themselves in Polish photography (Krzystof Zieliński, Dorota Bylica etc.) and of the Institute of Creative Photography of the Silesian University in Opava (e.g. Rafał Milach, Grzegorz Klatka, Szymon Sczesniak, Gregorz Dabrowski, Mariusz Forecki, Andrzej Górski, Kuba Dabrowski, Pawel Supernak, Agata Kubień, Michal Luczak, Pawel Olejniczak, Krzysztof Kowalzyk, etc.)

Staszek, from the 1,62 Square Meter of Home series
Nameless, from the 1,62 Square Meter of Home series

Andrzej Kramarz, author of a number of excellent sociological and subjective documentary collections who, together with the art historian, photographer and owner of the outstanding gallery Camelot in Cracow, Weronika Łodzinska, has over recent years created several cycles under the heading Home (Domov). All capture static details of diverse living and working environments that say a lot about people even without their being present. The first of them under the catch-phrase l,62 Square Meter of Home was made at the Municipal doss-house for men in Cracow, since 1992 the largest such facility of this type in the whole of Poland. About a hundred men sleep there from spring until autumn but during the winter months it often becomes the home for triple that number of night guests. The establishment has strict regulations for, with the exception of those sick, nobody may stay there between 8.00 and 16.00 hours, no alcohol may be consumed on the premises and cleanliness is a must. Any infringement of the regulations is punished by exclusion for varying lengths of time. биглион

The doss-house is furnished with bunk-beds, the lower beds being more easily accessible, are traditionally reserved for permanent occupants, while the upper beds are occupied by visitors who drop in for one or a few nights. Łodzinska with Kramarz, using their panoramic apparatus Haaselblad X-pan, as a rule showed the lower beds whose occupants had the time to create on the limited space of 1.62 square meter, their own microworld, testifying to their character, their hobbies, former professions and erstwhile homes. Many a time the photographs capture even absurd assortments of odd objects.They eloquently show how one night guest has the wall covered with pin-ups of nude girls, Santa Claus and the singer Karel Gott; another adorned his abode with cuddly toy animals, a third one has, besides a hoard of medicaments, various radio sets, alarm clocks and further such gadgets he repairs. All these are men who, despite personal failure, wrongs, loneliness, misery and problems with alcohol, have not lost the concept of home and faith in a better future, therefore, even on an extremely restricted space they build their own specific environment. Records of their movemented destinies in which violent downfalls in life following separation from wife and searching oblivion in alcohol, enrich the pictures with a further dimension. However, such as these constitute but a weak percentage among the men spending nights in the doss-house, for the great majority just vegetate and are interested in nothing except vodka. This is also documented in the collection 1.62 Square Meter of Home by the stern, austere upper bunk on which homeless individuals spend a night, but whose name none of the permanent indwellers is able to recall.

In this cycle, Weronika Łodzińska and Andrzej Kramarz combined a firm idea of concept, so typical of Polish photography of the past half-century, with the technical perfecion of large-format colour photographs, recalling say, the work of representatives of the Düsseldorf school of photography - Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth or Candida Höfer. This gave rise to unusually impressive collection which won appreciations in photo contests of the Polish version of Newsweek and Epson Art Award, was published in the weekly Poliityka and was on view at festivals of photography in Cracow, Lille‚ and in Bratislava. The success led the authors to a free continuation in which they created sociologically similarly eloquent and photographically attractive cycles on rooms of various collectors, on cabins of international truck drivers TIR, monks cells or the so-called white rooms at Podhale at do not serve as dwelling places, but are part of local religious traditions. The whole cycle Houme very compact as to contents and style, however, its various parts are neither repeated nor crushed, pulverized but they mutually reinforce one another.

Vladimir Birgus

Weronika Lodzinska was born in Cracow in 1973. She studied art history at Jagellow University and graphics at the Academy of Fine Arts of Jan Matejka in Cracow. In 1995-96 she made a stay of study at the Sorbonne in Paris. Since 2004 she is in charge of the Camelot Gallery in Cracow.

Andrzej Kramarz was born in Dubica in 1964. At present, he is a third-year student at the Institute of Creative Photography at the Silesian University in Opava. In 1993-96 he served as photoreporter with the daily Gazeta Krakowska, since then works free-lance, collaborates with the weeklies Przekroj, Tygodnik Powszechny and Polityka. He has won a prize in the Polish Press Photography Competition, in 2003 was awarded the 1st prize in the contest of a Polish version of Newsweek. He had a number of idividual exhibitions in Cracow, Warsaw, Opava, Brno and further towns.

| Autor: Vladimír Birgus | Vydáno dne 04. 07. 2007 | 4984 přečtení |

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