Anka Leśniak

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WORKS 2013


Bringing up
12 FOTOFESTIWAL - The International Festival of Photography
concurrent exhibition

Wschodnia Gallery, Lodz

8 photographies in frames, size: 24 x 30 cm

In 2012 Tomek Komorowski scattered the floor in Wschodnia Gallery with many photographs which he received from people who wanted to get rid of them. It was a bit uncomfortable to tread on other people’s faces and memories. The instinctive reaction of many spectators, including myself was to lean over the photos on the floor.

I was intrigued by the portrait photos of women.

When Andrzej Rozycki was planning his exhibition “Bringing Up” and asked me about the system, according to which I collected the photos, I realised that my choice was intuitive and this is when I started to look closer at them. There were various photos, mainly made in a studio. Judging by the photographic paper and women’s clothes, one can tell that they come from various decades of the previous century, and maybe even the one earlier… The first impulse is to turn the photo over to check if there is any signature. I found only one: To a sweet and kind Jurek, a keepsake – Jadzia, Bytom, 25.05.1961. On another photo there is a short note in Russian from 20.03.1945. Other women on photos are anonymous. Sometimes on the reverse one can see the name of a studio (often in German), sometimes it may be seen that the photo was torn out of an album.

Since I could not find any traces of their identity, I started to think who these women could be, what do their facial expressions, gestures and appearances say. Do they reflect the emotional state of these women or are they instead a pose suggested by the photographer, reflecting the convention of the epoch?

In my collection of “chosen” photographs I was especially intrigued by eight women. I don’t know if they can be said to be beautiful, wise or good. But each of them has something mysterious and unpredictable in their expressions. I think that each of them individually or all them together could be plotting some kind of intrigue...