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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » April 28, 2011
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London Across Time
April 28, 2011   
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Ever since the Warsaw Uprising Museum reopened the Warsaw Fotoplastikon stereoscopic viewing center, stereoscopic photography has been undergoing a revival, attracting growing numbers of photographers in Poland and abroad. This unusual technique transcends national borders and has become popular in, for example, London. Stereoscopic photographers in Britain include Mark Witkowski, an Englishman of Polish descent, who for the first time saw the Warsaw Fotoplastikon last summer. There are no such viewing centers in London and, until now, Witkowski has never had an opportunity to show his extensive collection of “stereographs” to a wider audience.

Shown at the Warsaw Fotoplastikon under the auspices of the British embassy, the London Across Time exhibition is a fascinating display of Witkowski’s stereographs of present-day London and ones from the 1960s, taken by his father, a Polish immigrant named Stanisław Witkowski (1918-1996), a professional fashion photographer whose subjects included model Twiggy.

“My father owned his stereo camera, an Iloca ‘Stereo Rapid,’ for only a few years and the 200 or so stereo pictures that remain from his portfolio stand as a testament to his enthusiasm and skill as a photographer,” Mark Witkowski said.

“I remember the camera well. Some years ago I saw exactly the same make and model of camera at a photographic equipment sale and bought it immediately. Nearly all the photos in the exhibition were taken with one or other of our two Iloca cameras on photographic film. Using old technology for the pictures in this exhibition at the Warsaw Fotoplastikon seems entirely fitting, even if it does lack the easy convenience of modern digital equivalents.”

He added, “We are seeing incredible advances in the technology of stereo presentation, 3D cinema films showing now and home 3D televisions on the way soon. Maybe stereo images will soon become everyday. In the meanwhile we hope that people will enjoy this selection of London stereographs, then and now, in this distinctive viewing format and savor the unique and original atmosphere of the Warsaw Fotoplastikon.”

The displayed stereographs include images of St. Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square, the industrial bank of the Thames River and sleepy streets of London suburbs. The exhibition shows how one of the world’s largest cities has changed over five decades and how it has been perceived by consecutive generations.

An Exhibition of London Stereographs at the Warsaw Fotoplastikon
51 Jerozolimskie Ave. (annexe, across the street from the ¦ródmie¶cie rail station)
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