Jerzy Olek combines in his activities artistic practice with theoretical deliberations. Since 1970s he has been an active animator of artistic circles. At that time he co-founded the movement of expansive and media photography. In 1977 he established Foto-Medium-Art, which became a platform for the exchanging of ideas about art and played a major role in promoting photo-media line of neo-avant-garde. At that time Jerzy Olek was also an originator and director of many exhibitions and symposia, among others Critical States of Photography. In the eighties he was connected with the movement of elementary photography. Since 1989 he performed the function of curator of the Photo-Conference East-West, and since 1999 he has been an artistic manager of art festival IAbiRynT in Kłodzko.
Since 1991 Jerzy Olek has been working on a project called the Dimensionlessness of Illusion, which consists of paintings, sketches, installations, photographs, graphic prints as well as a number of theoretical texts. The artist concentrates on the problems related to the tests of spatiality of a picture, exceeding the two-dimensional character of presentations. The artist’s considerations refer also to the visibility of objects, to the possibilities and limits of cognition. Jerzy Olek’s artistic method, by giving priority to questions rather than answers is close to the hermeneutic practice. The artist, deliberating over the issues that interest him, resorts to knowledge of mathematics, non-Euclidean geometry, psychophysiology and cosmology. The artist’s reflections, by combining the threads from Zen philosophy with the heritage of European avant-garde, seek a synthesis of elements from the philosophies of the East and the West.
Jerzy Olek (born 1943) studied at the Wrocław Polytechnic, later at the State College of Fine Arts in Poznań. He combines artistic and theoretical activities with pedagogic practice. He is a lecturer at Art Academy in Poznań and Gdańsk as well as at the Architecture Department of Wrocław Polytechnic and the Lower Silesian College. He lives in Wrocław and Gierałtów.
He co-operates with numerous magazines. His critical and theoretical texts were published among others in ‘Fotografia’, ‘European Photography’, ‘Projekt’, ‘Artlife’, ‘Arteon, Artluk’.
Jerzy Olek’s works have been presented on a large number of exhibitions, among others in Lyon, 2001; Lubeck, 2003; Nantes, 2004;Strasburg, 2005; Cracow, 2007; Berlin, 2008.