Generator of Ephemeral Photographs (2007)
Photo Reinstallations (1975/1993)
On 21 November at 6:00 pm the Foto-Medium Art Gallery in Kraków will hold the opening of an exhibition of the work of Jan Berdyszak. On this occasion Jerzy Olek will give a paper under the title of Reflections devoted to the artist’s work.
The exhibition will present work representative of Berdyszak and the consistent, analytical and philosophical reflections that he has been developing since the 1970s.
A mirror-object entitled Generator of Ephemeral Photographs (2007) is a reflection of the artist’s theoretical and practical pursuits, oscillating around the possibilities of creating reflected images archetypal of photography. Berdyszak explores the essence of photography using, paradoxically, non-photographic media. He evokes transient, self-creating images that merely pass through the present, like reflections of the real world in water. Berdyszak calls these twin natural phenomena prephotography and considers them to be deeply embedded key elements of photography, the main problems of which are centered on the notions of reflection, trace and imprint. Generator of Ephemeral Photographs is a creation which is a meditation on the essence of the medium, aimed at discovering its nucleus, revealed only in the close contact of the object with the viewer. It reaches beyond, suggesting separateness, oppositions and the inadaptability of reality to its reflection in a large blue mirror.
Berdyszak’s work in the Photo Reinstallations cycle (1975/1993) incorporates the work into a wide space – this time it is a white gallery wall. This suggests the entanglement of the artistic object in a larger universe, a potential reality, of which it becomes a fragment. The geometric forms cut out inside the photograph expand the space of this work and lift the limitations traditionally identified with photographs.
The Photo Reinstallations cycle and Generator of Ephemeral Photographs presented at the exhibition tell an artistic story undermining the adequacy of object perception and its paraphotographic representation, and so they directly participate in the ancient discourse on the relationship between reality and its artistic representation.
Professor Jan Berdyszak is one of the most distinguished contemporary artists – a classic of actual art. His artistic reflection, which has been present in art history for years, covers a wide array of disciplines and techniques. The artist was born in 1934. In the 1950s he studied at the Sculpture Faculty of The State Visual Arts College in Poznań (currently Poznań Academy of Arts), where he is a lecturer today. Jan Berdyszak has been decorated on many occasions in recognition of his contribution to national culture; he has received, amongst other awards, the Cavalier Cross (1988) and the Officer Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (2001), Doctor Honoris Causa of Bratislava Academy of Arts (1999). His work can be found in many museums and private collections in Poland and abroad. At present, the artist is working on the following cycles: since 1990 Passe-par-tout (images, objects, installations), since 1970 Photographic Reinstallations, and since 1997 Covers, now After-Covers (projects, photographs, objects, installations), since 2000 Après passe-par-tout (images, objects, installations).
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