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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » March 31, 2011
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New Focus on Polish Photography
March 31, 2011   
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The exhibition Little Man/Awaiting at the Asymetria Gallery opens a long-term Archeology of Photography Foundation project entitled Living Archives. What the exhibition hopes to achieve is to include classic photographs in the history of art and culture by having them reinterpreted and re-deciphered by contemporary artists.

The exhibition stands the works of classic Polish photographer Zofia Rydet (1911-1997) alongside those of Julia Staniszewska, one of the most highly regarded photographers of the younger generation.

Rydet’s groundbreaking Little Man (1965) is a compilation of 140 photographs of children taken in Poland, Albania, Bulgaria, Italy and the former Yugoslavia over several years. These have been arranged into 15 sets and are accompanied by a few lines of text by Janusz Korczak, the famous Polish Jewish children’s writer, teacher and pediatrician who in 1942 died in the Nazi death camp in Treblinka, about 100 km northeast of Warsaw. The book has gone down as one of Poland’s major photographic achievements of the 20th century.

Forty works from this album are now on display at the Asymetria Gallery. The photos were chosen and arranged by Staniszewska and juxtaposed with her set of photographs taken at a fertility clinic. Staniszewka’s context lends an added poignancy to Rydet’s work. Staniszewska does not photograph children, being more interested in adults who want to have them. It is as if the artist is wondering whether anyone today could look upon children with the same sort of love as Zofia Rydet.

Open until April 22; Galeria Asymetria
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