“Unobvious” FOTO-GEN Gallery of the Culture and Art Centre in Wroclaw (OKiS) 

1 – 10 November 2019

Introduction: Unobvious

Almost from the beginning of the development of philosophical thought, questions were asked about the phenomenon of imagination. There was an attempt to explain of what extent it stimulates in creative human activity. Regardless of the many definitions created in the humanities – imagination can be defined as the subject’s ability to present images of things, phenomenon, events in their absence, and to present things, phenomenon of events not occurring in our reality. Views of the world, which as a result of artistic vision are transformed into images, are not subjected to rigors of reality (even if they are a representation of the appearance of objects). The close relationship between the paintings /objects/installations created by the artists and the world is apparent – they appear in perception, while the work itself creates its meanings, reorganizing the customary relationship between the artistic object and its interpretation, read by the recipient. The exhibition Unobvious presents artists who at the center of their reflections and do not only place only products with specific, objectified properties, but rich, multi-threaded narratives.

The determinant in the creative attitude of one of the greatest artists of experimental photography, Prof. Stefan Wojnecki (born in 1929) is open to innovative searching for intellectual inquisitiveness. At the beginning of his creative path, the artist formulated the theory of photography as an “internal model of the world.” The conviction that we create the world experience through photography, while the photographer introduces elements of his own reality into the photographic image guided the artist’s search. In “Commentary on his own work” S. Wojnecki emphasized that the guiding idea of his artistic activities and searches was “penetrating” art, which is directed “towards its own characteristics and dependencies.” The artist, who is looking for new formal solutions (using modern methods of recording and image processing), remains his “own, ordered world, whose main value is the internal freedom of the open mind. A respected Polish artist, Prof. Jan Berdyszak (1934 – 2014) was an author of theoretical texts in which he posed fundamental questions to understanding contemporary art. Acting mainly in the field of painting, graphics and sculpture, in his creative searching he had crossed the boundaries of genres. In 1965, he initiated a series of structural images. The result of many years of the artistic search there were attempts to transpose abstract concepts into visual language, mainly related to the philosophical thought of the East. In his “photographic re-interpretations” J. Berdyszak made photographs of his own installations as a starting point. Works of an outstanding Polish photographer and teacher, Prof. Grzegorz Przyborek (born 1949) is characterized by the conjunction of imagination and intellect with the talent of an intermedia artist. G. Przyborek affirms the illusion of the reality in the existence of the world, which he translates into phantasms – real images as not exactly objects, but as memories, observations and imaginations remaining on the services of the intellect. Everyday objects hidden in installations (for example, floating above the table surface, or tablecloths, bowls, jugs, scissors) become significant only in mutual relations and spatial tension; the way they are presented is a measure of the world captured by the artist. For the artist of many fields (including performance art, graphic artist, composer and musician) Andrzej Dudek-Dürer (born 1953) photography is one of many equal media. It is not only a way of interpreting reality, but allows you to create a world that expresses the creator’s desires and reflections. Art for A. Dudek-Dürer is a special possibility of self-realization and communication. Professor of the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wroclaw, Andrzej P. Bator (born 1954) in his works from the “Gratias ago” series refers to the sources of the European philosophical and mystical tradition, without which it is difficult to read the meanings encoded in the signs on the structure of photography. The method adopted by the artist consists in juxtaposing several layers of images which are metaphorically declared significance in one frame. Professor Zbigniew Treppa (born 1960), author of the polyptych “I believe in the life everlasting”, in his work focuses on sacred issues. For the artist, the process of creating a picture happens as if “behind a veil”, and its breaking, tearing (sacred gesture) can mean opening the way to God. Z. Treppa also deals with sacrum issues in the field of image theory, referring in his studies the “Shroud of Turin”, the most famous Christian relic. “Ingrained in the 20th-century avant-garde” Prof. Marcin Berdyszak (born in 1964) is an author of objects, installations and performances in which he undertakes a discourse with cultural stereotypes, the standardization of emotions and is an author of objects, installations and performances in which he undertakes a discourse with cultural stereotypes, the standardization of emotions and behaviors with the contemporary valuation of reality. Photography made by the artist is primarily used to document ephemeral installations that change over time (mainly their initial stage). Igor Wójcik (born in 1968) is not only an artist of many arts (works in the field of painting, sculpture, glass and photography) but also an outstanding promoter and animator of Lower Silesian cultural life. As an author of artistic concepts: intuitive speculationism and phenomenal art, he creates his own worlds, taking polemics with the surrounding reality. In the works presented in the “Mirrors of Illusion” series, the artist – using mirrors placed in water – deepens and multiplies the elements of the landscape; provokes questions about the reality of the world around us. In Karolina Aszyk’s projects (born in 1972), from the series “Transfiguration”, photography is not important in itself, but photography is treated as an existing image regardless of the ground on which it was recorded. The basic motive of this set are gloves, taking anthropomorphic shapes and giving the impression of “abandoned”, “empty” hands. This thematic thread on transience is part of the tradition of visual symbolization, known as vanitative. In the works presented at the exhibition from the series of photographs “Transition” by Magda Hueckel (born in 1978), the artist’s body is the basic tool, which is shown in relation to the natural environment and organic materials (plants, water, rocks) in a set without signs that would indicate a specific time and context. M. Hueckel’s actions are an attempt to transform the individual experience into a universal experience; documenting what is invisible and intangible. The attractively visual productions of Agata Szuba (born in 1985) are dominated by the discourse, which the artist conducts with the audience of her works, about discovering joy in seemingly trivial moments of everyday life. Repetitive activities fixed on photo-objects (e.g. washing the floor, cutting cabbage) thanks to the artistic creation (aesthetics and arrangement of space, floating confetti) acquire a festive character. The series “Introspection” by Agata Niźnikiewicz (born 1994) is the culmination of the search for such a way of portraiture thanks to which the hero of the photo is read not so much by his physicality, but by his experiences, emotions and thinking. The artist emphasizes that in her series she tries to build an image of a man discovering his self-awareness, which “enables reaching a compromise between the inner world of the individual and the surrounding reality.”

The variety of narratives presented by the artists – thanks to formal measures and the “story” of the photographic text – allows the recipients of the works to read the described world both from the perspective of the artist and his own, which is the sum of their aesthetic sensitivity and general cultural competences.


철학이 발달하던 시기부터 상상력에 대한 질문이 제기되었다. 사람들은 철학이 어떤 점에서 인간의 창의적인 행동을 자극하는지에 대해서도 연구했다. 인간성에 관한 여러가지 정의가 있지만 상상력은 대상이 사물, 현상, 부재 시 발생하는 일들에 대한 이미지와 현실에 부재하는 사물, 현상을 제시하는 능력이다. 세상을 바라보는, 결과적으로 예술을 바라보는 관점은 이미지로 변하고 비록 사물의 외관을 나타내는 작품이더라도 현실의 잣대로 평가되지 않는다. 그림, 사물, 조형물 간의 관계는 아티스트에 의해 만들어지며 작품 자체에서 만들어지는 의미와 대상과 수용자의 해석 간의 전통적인 관계를 재해석함으로써 작가의 관점이 세상에 모습을 드러낸다. ‘불분명한(Unobvious)’ 전시회는 자아 성찰 과정을 겪고, 구체적이고 사물화된 영역에서 그치지 않고 다양하고 풍부한 내러티브로 대상을 전시하는 작가들을 소개한다.
친절한 전개 방식과 사진 텍스트의 “스토리”를 통해 작가들이 제공하는 다양한 내러티브 덕분에 수용자는 작가의 관점과 스스로의 관점을  읽을 수 있다. 두 가지 관점의 합은 곧 그들의 예술 감수성과 일반적인 문화 수용 능력을 나타낸다.


FOTO-GEN Gallery of the Culture and Art Centre in Wroclaw – Institution of Culture of the Lower Silesia Regional Government (OKiS)



Karolina Aszyk
Andrzej P. Bator
Manfred Bator
Jan Berdyszak
Marcin Berdyszak
Andrzej Dudek-Dürer
Magda Hueckel
Agata Niźnikiewicz
Grzegorz Przyborek
Agata Szuba
Zbigniew Treppa
Stefan Wojnecki
Igor Wójcik
Curator: Manfred Bator

Honorary patronage: Cezary Przybylski – Marshal of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship