The exhibition originates in discussions on relations between photography, performance, stage productions and widely understood acting in front of the camera lens. The area of our interest however does not focus on performance documentation, which constitutes a supplement of an activity per se, functioning independently from the fact, whether it was photographed or not. We are interested in such photos, which main aim is – according to the artist’s intention – the image as such. Therefore they present to the viewer activities which arose for the purpose of the photo, where the author is not only a witness, but first and foremost the director and choreographer and finally might fulfill a role of an actor as well. The exhibition presents the original prints from 80’s, from archives which Archeology of Photography Foundation is working and making research on.
The term “performative photography” is used in a limited sense here – as photography of gestures with the various amplitude of purpose and meaning; starting with precisely planned and as much as it is possible eliminating randomness iconic ‘Gesticulations’ by Zbigniew Dłubak, through series by Antoni Zdebiak, where the activity performed on the photographer’s request assumes some limited arbitrariness, and finishing with the works, where dancers photographed by Zdebiak, although in scenery invented by the author, gain full freedom of expression and therefore become co-authors of the ensuing situation.
Self-portrait constitutes performative image which is closest to the common experience and this is why it becomes the key element of the exhibition. We will see Zbigniew Dłubak, Mariusz Hermanowicz and Antoni Zdebiak preforming activities, making gestures and facial expressions in front of the camera. The exhibition will present a range of structurised hand gestures by Dłubak, tragicomic narration on struggling with nature and form by Hermanowicz or the outstanding series by Zdebiak – one of few examples of male nudes in Polish photography.
Chosen photographs are mostly recordings of a particular process and occurrence which inevitably results in some narration and the sequence of shots. This theatrical performativity of photographic scenery is extended onto activities towards the substantiality of photography. There arises a question if a gesture - in the context of a print - interfering not only in the form, but also altering the essence of the artwork, can be included in the very vast category of performative photography. Can drawing, painting, writing on the prints, cropping and cutting them be perceived this way? Is it the form of lack of trust towards the pure photography image?
The exhibition constitutes a part of ‘Living Archives’ project, within which Archeology of Photography Foundation collaborates with contemporary artists, working on creating new artistic projects inspired by photography or archival artifacts. This year edition of ‘Living Archives’ is realized in the collaboration with Sputnik Photos. The artistic comment to ‘Choreography of Images...’ exhibition is provided by the project ‘Rays’ by Adam Pańczuk, featured in Archeology of Photography Foundation Gallery, Andersa 13.
There will be two curatorial guided tours organized within the exhibition, out of which one will be translated into Polish sign language (the date is still going to be fixed). The exhibition will be also accompanied by ‘Widzi-mi-się’ workshops aimed at children and adults. The workshops on how to read, watch and understand photography will take place on 30th September 2017 at 1 p.m.