Szukaj na tym blogu

sobota, 28 października 2017

Festival Interphoto in Białystok "Limits of Tolerance" (September-October 2017)

Krzysztof Ligęza
When I arrived in Białystok on Sunday, the weather was sort of apocalyptic. Rain, wind, cold, but I would rather not write about it. Impressions on weather are not that significant in this context; photography, meetings and new acquaintances are important. I am glad that at the festival I was able to show the exhibition of KrzysztofLigęza, a photographer who is very well prepared - both from the technological and theoretical side; not only in the field of photography, but also in the theory of art, including its latest praxis. I opened his exhibition Trees-Shadows-Dreaming on the 18th September 2017 with pleasure. Together with Krzysztof we attended all the exhibitions described below. He is also the author of photographic documentation. Unfortunately, I did not have enough time to visit all the festival's shows.

K. Ligęza, Faces of Time
K. Ligęza, Exhibition's view, image by K. Ligęza
Part of Krzysztof Ligęza exhibition, image by K.Ligęza

Bogdan Konopka
A lot of the aesthetic pleasure was delivered to the audience by exhibition of Bogdan Konopka, who interestingly arranged it, combining several earlier works – e.g. images from Central Europe (settlement with the heritage of communism), China, cemeteries of Southern Poland (Galicia region), as well as (previously unknown to me) Paris portraits and a very personal series dedicated to the memory of the artist's daughter. The final photograph (flaming dress) is a personal farewell, but also, I suppose, a spiritual catharsis.

Image by K.Ligęza
Image by K.Ligęza
Image by K.Ligęza
Image by K.Ligęza

Image by K.Ligęza
Antanas Sutkus 
Very important Lithuanian, and formerly Soviet, photographer. Due to the state of his health, unfortunately, he was not able to attend his exhibition opening. The show consisted many famous works, including portraits, but not quite properly arranged and hung up. There were also no signatures. Some of the works were added from other series than the entitled People of Lithuenia. We could wonder what photographers were a source of inspiration to Sutkus in the 1960s? I think not only Soviet but also American and French. Nevertheless, he created a very interesting style, allegorically depicting the sadness of the former USSR and the nostalgic face of the real communism.
Image by K.Ligęza
Image by K.Ligęza
Image by K.Ligęza 
Antanas Sutkus, Dżukija surroundings, 1969 (Festival's press release)

Wojciech Zawadzki 
It was an important show under a bit misleading title Hobbiton, though unfinished (Wojciech Zawadzki unfortunately died this year) and due to this fact - inconsistent. We have seen images from the United Kingdom from the late 80's, but also from Poland. Interestingly, the Hobbition is a town in New Zealand - a popular tourist destination, "movie set", referring to the famous film adaptation of Tolkien. Probably Zawadzki wanted to show his specific emotional state, connecting theoretically different realities. In a paradoxical and surrealist way he confronted the title with images, which also took place in his earlier and very well known series My America. We saw photographs taken during a car journey, seascapes, degraded backyards, as in photographs by Zbigniew Dłubak (Landscapes series) and gates, which of course remind Andrzej J. Lech, one of the most important artists/friends for Zawadzki. Well, we have to say with a sadness, "the charismatic Wojtek is gone". However, his true photographs will always remain, in the sense of ontological compatibility with his personal views on the primordial subject – the essence of photography.

Image by K.Ligęza
Image by K.Ligęza
Festival's press release
Festival's press release
Author ot this blog at W. Zawadzki exhibition, image by K.Ligęza
Image by K.Ligęza

Zero 61 Group
Admittedly, the exhibition is much smaller than the one shown in Łódź at the Museum of Art at the turn of 2016/2017, but it is worth remembering anyway. All the paths leading to the latest Polish photography, creative and non-documentary, both in black and white and in color, can be derived from the group's activities. We can think of what technique or its specific use was the most important for the group members. Probably photocollage and various types of photomontage (Jerzy Wardak, Andrzej Różycki, Józef Robakowski, Czesław Kuchta, Michał Kokot, Wojciech Bruszewski). Certainly their works will be followed by further interpretations.

Antoni Mikołajczyk, In memory of the shot, 1968. colour photography, (Festival's press release)
Andrzej Różycki, The Cage,1969 (Festival's press release) 

Other exhibitions 
I saw an interesting exhibition by Alexander Vasukovich (Minsk) about the Ukrainian battalion Donbas fighting Russian separatists. Interestingly, it was accompanied by a film, in which the same show was destroyed in Moscow at  A. Sakharov center. The exhibition of Martin Kollar was very well presented, but it was significantly smaller that the one previously shown in Łódź this year. In Białystok this Slovak photographer shown a wide range of subjects (buildings, military maneuvers, medical experiments), but also quasi documentary, quasi oniric landscapes from Israel. I also enjoyed other exhibitions: Marek Noniewicz, (I need to mention, however, that only a few new works have been created within the framework of this series, which I have known for at least last 5 years), Hungarian István Halász, Latvian Arnis Balcus and Tomasz Michałowski. I have some doubts related to the last exhibition as the author repeats his very intriguing style of the 90s, and in the self-portrait leans towards the "oddity", known mainly from the paintings of Zdzisław Beksiński. Interestingly arranged, but somewhat too much “pop” in its expression was the exhibition of Jan Pohribny (Czech Republic) Lost in Paradise. I was not able to see Janusz Połom's exhibition (Forest Shroud), but I saw it earlier on in Łódź.
Jan Pohribny, Untitled, from Lost in Paradise exhibition(Festival's press release)
Arnis Balcus, from Victory Park exhibition (Festival's press release)

Martin Kollar, from Field Trip exhibition (Festival's press release)

Aleksandr Vasukovich, A Commemorative Photo, (Festival's press release
Tomasz Michałowski, from Inner Landscape exhibition (Festival's press release)
Tomasz Michałowski, from Inner Landscape exhibition (courtesy of the author) 

Final remarks 
My text is not a formal review, but a sketch of what I would like to preserve in my memory. I have not seen the student shows from Łódź, Bratislava, Poznan, etc., as I did not have enough time, besides I am a bit fed up with such exhibitions, as these are usually an overview of contemporary trends. I did not like the exhibitions of artists from Ukraine, including the Knowns-Unknowns, except works of Viacheslav Poliakov. But is it difficult to predict whether a correct choice was made? We know little about Ukrainian photography, why is this show important. I think that in 2017 the most important Polish photography festival took place in Białystok. Other festivals are eclectic (Opole), local (Sopot) or lost in theoretical (but just in theory) speculations on e.g. the subject of post-truth (Cracow, Łódź), and as a result of this everything is analyzed... and in real tends to the "art for kids" level... 

Grzegorz Jarmocewicz (director of festival), K. Jurecki, K. Ligęza and Aleksandr Vasukovich. Phoyo by Monika Pańko

Brak komentarzy: