Over time the purpose of photography has evolved. At its genesis, taking a photo was associated with the need to capture something insignificant but worth immortalizing. In this way photography and film, because of their mimetic characteristics, became almost synonymous with “bearing witness to something,” be it the presence of a person, a phenomenon, or relations between the photographed elements.
This transition from functional photography is captured in the exhibition “Nic się nie dzieje” (“Nothing Is Happening”), created by the students of the Studio of Narrative Photography. Through these selected works, the artists are inviting the viewer to see everyday life and objects in new contexts, often changing the narrative from accepted axioms to one that challenges reality. By exploring subjects such as body control, reflexes, and space, these artists have created two-dimensional images that act as a mechanism to unveil hidden tension, thus putting our certainties into question and inviting analysis and definition. These new dimensions of meaning thus provoke
a change in how we think and define art.
Defining new artistic realities is perhaps the main drive for creation in the field of visual arts. Simply capturing the object is no longer the purpose for art and creation, but rather it is the manipulation of context and the acquired meaning which holds significance. This view is born from concepts such as the avant-garde of the 20th century, when conceptual art gave rise to the contemporary view of creation, introducing the cult of ideas and communication. Technical precision surrendered to conceptual placement, showing a new context in which the work of art should be received.
Though we may be mistaken, we all seem to think we know the world and how it is perceived. Yet the times when photography and film verify this understanding are long gone. We have reached a new time, when these mediums no longer simply document our world, but rather are instruments to re-interpret our perception of reality and what we have already learnt. In viewing the exhibition one becomes part of an intriguing experiment asking the viewer to not only awake from a lethargic approach to reality, but also challenge the contemporary meaning of popular media entirely.
Professor Prot Jarnuszkiewicz