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Negotiating Identity. Between the Real and the Virtual in the 21st Century Photography

FOTOGEN GALLERY, Wrocław, Poland

Artists: Kama Rosińska (PL/UK), Michaela Spurna (Cz), Simon Crofts (UK), Ji Hyun Kwon (Korea, Germany),  Sylwia Kowalczyk (PL/UK), Tadeusz Prociak (PL), Leszek Żurek (PL), Magdalena Samborska (PL), Krzysztof Ligęza (PL)
Curator: Krzysztof Jurecki

Kamila Rosińska “Ténéré”

You are cordially invited to join the artists at the opening of the exhibition Negotiating Identity. Between the Real and the Virtual in the 21st Century Photography on 24th August 2018 at 6 p.m. The exhibition contrasts various newest ways of expression, such as analogue photography, photo-collage and digital photomontage, as well as photographic panoramas. The exhibition poses the question whether the categories of document and mimesis are still important in contemporary art practice, or is it more technique-based?

An international exhibition of over seventy artworks, including video, curated by the art critic Krzysztof Jurecki, PhD, analyzes the problem of artistic identity in its many aspects: from the discovery of the metaphorical value of a theoretically simple and archaic (Simon Crofts) or globalized world (Tadeusz Piotr Prociak), to perceiving the development of the world through a child’s eyes (Michaela Spurna). Kama Rosińska, who searches for salvation in African animism, analyzes this issue differently; so does Ji Hyun Kwon, who explores the issue of “guilt” of culturally diverse people. Furthermore, Magdalena Samborska’s neofeminism addresses the categories of identity albeit in a different way – by putting a mask on individual identity, which is similar to the blurring of memory in the case of Sylwia Kowalczyk’s works. Leszek Żurek, who touches upon the problem of the loss of local identity, has been turning to imaginative photography, which draws on documentary traditions, for many years. Krzysztof Ligęza documents the tradition and history of an authentic religious cult in Subcarpathia (roadside shrines), determining the local “axis mundi” in this way.

The exhibition confirms the popular thesis that identity definition is still a very important issue for contemporary culture. Without it, concepts such as nation, society, and, in consequence, art, disappear. The category of mimesis, which is documentary in form, the so-called alternative techniques, as well as all kinds of montage, are all important for the current practice. The newest field of photography is very diverse, which is an advantage, but it does have some negative aspects, as it may lead to the pauperization of artistic photography, changing it into trivial entertainment, which the exhibition seeks to oppose. It is worth mentioning that there is a certain dramaturgy to the exhibition, which starts with Simon Crofts’s “A Big Arch”, and ends with Krzysztof Ligęza’s works.
The exhibition is held untill 21st September 2018. It is accompanied by a catalogue containing K. Jurecki’s curatorial essay Not only about identity…

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