‘And when the ice floe floated down, the calm of an invisible river would spread over the whole landscape. Dusk would fall crystal clear the air peppered with ice, no mist or wind-washed features, everything edged with sharp dark contours.’
Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz, ‘Zarudzie’
A body becomes light in water. In the lens of Weronika Ławniczak a body becomes a landscape. A melancholic, dreamy afterimage. Her various viewpoints turn the body into an abstraction. The border between the body and what merely touches it disappears. There is no inside or outside, just as there is no clear demarcation line between the eye and what it is looking at. A person becomes one with the landscape. Their emotions scarring the landscape, giving it its character. It’s not a portrait of a man anymore, but of nature, which is as fickle as the medium used by the author.
‘Widok’ (‘View / Sight’), Weronika Ławniczak’s second solo exhibition and the one with which Czulosc Gallery inaugurates its activities in its new space, is a story of looking for a place of one’s own. In the fundamental, existential meaning, and on many other levels. The exhibition is, among other things, a comment on the ambiguous role of an artist who uses photographs to, on one side, convey their perception of reality which is individual and based on impressions, and on the other side – achieve the impossible: an objective image. Where should she stand to see better? And what does this even mean? At times Weronika enters the frame herself and becomes the ‘object’, sometimes she distances herself, escaping into formal solutions. Finally, she presents us with a shot which puts it all into brackets.
Pictures displayed here at Czułość reference themes characteristic to Weronika. Particularly, that all things are ephemeral, and that nature eventually appropriates everything. However, while her first solo exhibition, ‘The One Who Fights, Doesn’t Have to Be Sad’ (2011) showed the world after a catastrophic event, this collection, ‘Widok’, is more a photographic meditation on the inevitable. Where there was a feeling that all things were suspended, there is a state of hy-per-sen-si-ti-vi-ty. Instead of despair, there is attentiveness. It illustrates the artist’s evolution: a path that has led from her cleansing herself of destructive feelings towards a creative, constructive outlook. Now it would appear that the one who looks doesn’t have to be sad, but can be. There is acceptance of sadness, and the strength that comes from the understanding that there is no need to fight anymore.
text: HANNA RYDLEWSKA