No 3 (95) 2013
July - September
OPINIONS

Photorealism

The practice to use a camera obscura - followed by painters as of the 16th century, and application of photography - pursued by them as of the 19th century, one can observe a constant progress of relations between painting and photography.

Tomasz Sobieraj

A graduate from the Łódź University; a poet, prose writer, literary critic, photographer.

Tomasz Sobieraj

THIS RESULTS FROM TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT of the latter, as well as from demythologization of the abstract. Krzysztof Jurecki, the exhibition curator, presents a thesis that form related experiments have reached the limits, and further search is pointless. The only chance for painting to survive, and for preventing painters from a gigantic panopticum of postmodernism, is to follow the "modern tradition", interpreted as a reference to the "undisputed painting" of the past, particularly to the painters who have used various forms of camera obscura and photography.

The Hallucinations of Memory exhibition has been divided into two parts. The first offers seventeen works by Łukasz Korolkiewicz, for whom photography has always been a starting point for a self analysis, being a registered fragment of reality; reconstructed and stretched over a longer period of time. The pictures are like fragments of a diary, full of anxiety and - hidden or obvious - symbolic qualities; frequently erotic. This is a kind of a self-portrait that happens to be not always secretive. The artist borders on the document, occasionally he steps over. In this case, one is practically faced with a painting equivalent of paparazzi. Nevertheless, Korolkiewicz has been presenting literal aspects by means of the painting approach: palette, space, perspective, and covered them with a layer of complex ambiguities and deformed mirror reflections. The mystery, the oddness of seeing and the "oddness of existence" are permeating in his pictures with a cool objective attitude in order to save a moment from the "nothingness".

The second part of the exhibition presents fifty pictures displayed in a tight space. These include the works by the following artists: Beata Ewa Białecka - feminist oriented, inspired by Christian iconography; Zofia Błażko - combining photographic delivery with the Renaissance longing for harmony and some elements borrowed from Cubism; Małgosia Malinowska - a kind of an identification with the Holocaust children; Julia Curyło - presenting a mocking - nevertheless attractive and full of deeper reflection - vision of the contemporary world in pop-art. convention; Bartek Otocki - original transformation of photographs into painting compositions, resembling science fiction illustrations; Magdalena Samborska - starting with commercial women's magazine portraits which are transformed manually and digitally to offer a painting description of the "shortage equivalent"; Małgorzata Wielek-Mandela - disturbing, innovative, symbolic, bordering on surrealism impersonal portraits; Ewa Bloom-Kwiatkowska - balancing between expressionism and document, dealing with the problem of fascism and the "banality of evil".

The exhibition has been an attempt to show the classic of hyperrealism and his potential followers representing various stylistics. In the times of the so called death of painting, the type of art, based on the specificities of the "punctum" according to Barthes, has been doing quite well, as observed by the exhibition curator.

The exhibition, held in Piotrków, not only has been an evidence of progressive and effective interrelations between photography and painting. First of all it has proved the need to eliminate moral void that grows along with the retreat from religion, fall of spiritual and ethical values that cannot be replaced with sediments of consumption, egoism, liberalism and fake happiness. As Jerzy Stempowski noticed: "It could be that writers and artists are obligated to look, with persistence and courage, down the abyss opening under our feet. However, only few can manage.


"Hallucinations of Memory". The latest Versions of Photorealism in Poland", Artistic Action Center, Piotrków Trybunalski, May - June 2013.

 

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