In the 60 years since the erection of Warsaw’s Palace of Culture and Science, this peculiar architectural structure remains an impenetrable aesthetic phenomenon. Błażej Pindor’s photography project, created for the purposes of Waldemar Baraniewski’s publication titled “Palace in Warsaw” (“Pałac w Warszawie”), is the first earnest attempt at an artistic interpretation of the space within and around the Palace. The point of departure for these images were photographs from the 1950s, especially those of Zbyszko Siemaszko and Zdzisław Wdowiński – distributed through photo agencies and printed on postcards, published in magazines and travel books – which formed the cannon for depicting the most conspicuous structure in post-war Warsaw for many years to come. Pindor references these classic images using a similar technique, shooting on 4×5-inch black-and-white negatives, taken in the summer and fall of 2014. However, the method and intent of his work is radically different, geared towards the deconstruction of this earlier form of representation. In approaching the Palace and navigating its halls, the photographer created more than picture-postcards, capturing significant details, the draughtsman’s attention to detail, the lavish materials and astonishing planes used to create these interiors. Primarily, the essence of Pindor’s photography is an analysis of the impact the structure has on the viewer – dominating, rescaled, selfish and opulent beyond measure, at the same time raw and seductive.
For the book, 90 images were selected from among over 200. The exhibition presents a selection of 12 photographs that comprise a limited edition collector’s portfolio. They epitomize the most characteristic and recognizable elements of the Palace’s architecture, while also serving as a suggestion for a new formula for depicting and exemplifying Pindor’s characteristic, perfectionist style. Through his lens, architectural photography becomes less about documentation and more about reinterpretation. The focus of the discussion at hand is between the aspects of architecture’s way of organizing our space and the traditions of modern photography.
An essential part of the show is also its arrangement made by the artist and a specially made bulletin board in the front windows of the gallery.
Błażej Pindor (born 1973) studied architecture at the Warsaw University of Technology and photography at FAMU in Prague. His most recent photography projects centered on the modernist traditions of Polish architecture and design, including “Revisiting Romuald Gutt” (“Rewizyta u Romualda Gutta”, 2013-2014) and “Objects and Poses” (Obiekty i pozy”, 2014).