The fabric of the skin, wrinkles, hand gestures. The joint exhibition of works by Zofia Rydet (1911–1997) and Aneta Grzeszykowska (born 1974) is a show of two artists who use the camera to construct captivating and rhetorically rich images of the female body.
Their works were first shown together in 2006 at an exhibition at Galeria Kronika in Bytom. The project presented then, Plan, realized by Grzeszykowska with Jan Smaga, was linked to Rydet’s Sociological Record primarily by the nature of the obsessive documentation common to the two works. Their new encounter highlights another theme less debated so far but central to the work of both artists: the image of the woman. Two dimensions of this image claim the foreground: identity and the existential. The medium for emotion and time encoded in the image is the body and its outer layer: skin. Both Rydet and Grzeszykowska elaborate the female portrait in an individual manner transgressing mainstream conventions. Rydet’s Women on Thresholds and Grzeszykowska’s Negative Make-Up are images of female autonomy, full of power and smashing social stereotypes.
The exhibition at Raster also touches on the essence of photography: its power of bringing to life and killing off. The driving force behind Rydet’s photographic practice was a desire to perpetuate the world and the departing. Grzeszykowska attempts the reverse perspective. Using meticulously directed photographic images, she brings non-existent characters to life or animates dead objects. The two artists express a similar allure of overcoming the two-dimensionality of photography, in both time and space. Thus in the exhibition we present unique photographic items by Rydet from her Transformations cycle, and heads of leather sewn by Grzeszykowska. The confrontation on multiple levels between the art of these two unusual artists reveals surprising convergences as well as an intriguing depth—the abyss their works open up before us.
This exhibition officially launches the cooperation between Raster and the Zofia Rydet Foundation, in which our gallery will represent Rydet’s work in Poland and abroad.