On the mor­ning of 1 January 2000, Krzysz­tof Zieliński headed out with a camera to the market square in his hometown of Wąbrzeźno. There, in the grey winter light of the New Year, he created the first pic­tures of what, after three more years of work, would form one of the most intriguing photographic and artistic projects car­ried out in Poland since 1989.

 

There is little art giving such a deep and timeless expres­sion to social reality. Wąbrzeźno, an ordinary little town star­ting with W, down near the end of the alphabet, in a lan­guage where “w” could stand for wszędzie—anywhere, por­trayed by the photographer after a decade of sys­temic chan­ges up to the eve of Poland’s joining the European Union, became a visual synonym for the creeping transformation.

 

Wor­king on colour negatives and alluding to the minimalist poetics of topographic photography, Zieliński created an image of the post-​socialist coun­tryside that is the first of its kind, moving and empathetic, con­struc­ted from mist and a thousand and one shades of grey. The region’s sys­temic trans­for­mation, viewed from this per­spec­tive, appears as little more than a fresh coat of paint on the walls of the old stone houses and few new com­mer­cial signs clashing with the sur­roun­dings. The image of economic relations is shops with used clothing and a plastic shop­ping bag from the German discount grocery chain Aldi hauled by a woman in a pink beret. The space yaw­ning between the houses and blocks of flats leads nowhere.

 

Twenty years after taking the first photos and 16 years after presen­ting Hometown at Warsaw’s Zachęta National Gal­lery of Art, we are again exhibiting an exten­sive selec­tion from Krzysz­tof Zieliński’s series, with a sense of the recur­ring and distur­bing political cur­rency of these images. What 15 years ago seemed a phan­tom of the past, a relic of hard times, today appears to be a fixed element of our iden­tity and a grey trace of unproces­sed history.

 

Krzysz­tof Zieliński (born 1974) studied photography at FAMU in Prague (obtaining a diploma with distinc­tion in 2001). Since then he has com­pleted ten photographic series and taken part in numerous exhibitions at home and abroad, inc­luding the Bienal de São Paulo and the Prague Bien­nale. Zieliński has had individual shows at such venues at Zachęta in Warsaw (2004) and the Centre of Con­tem­porary Art in Toruń (2009). 2009–2010 he was a visiting profes­sor at FAMU.



This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski


This image is part of Hometown project by Krzysztof Zielinski

current EXHIBITION

Krzysztof Zieliński
HOMETOWN


Opening 7 March 2020,

12:00 noon – 6:00 pm