5 year of studies – the end – diploma

Photography, Story-history

A cycle of photography works entitled “Bread masquerade” is the fruit of my fascination with the anti-portrait. It depicts my slightly different perception of a photographic portrait, since it undermines internally all rules and definitions assumed in case of a portrait and denies all constituents of the very nature of a portrait. This peculiar form of creative expression is a combination of two structures and media at the same time. I think that the main idea of my cycle is best reflected by the statement of the late, outstanding Polish artist Zdzisław Beksiński: “…what is revealed in not important, what is concealed truly matters. It is important what shows itself to our soul, not what our eyes see or what we can call…”.

After many attempts and games with the form of bread dough or salt dough, I noticed in this substance a very specific texture, which enables to convey various messages by means of simple, schematic masks. A combination of dough masks, reliefs, with photographs, portraits of various people is something more than an ordinary portrait. A face of the photographed person is on purpose blurred and barely visible. At the first glance we see only eyes, which are at the same time the eyes of the bread mask. When we examine the photograph in more details, we discover the real portrait under the rough structure. However, an anxiety arises, a question: is the portrait we see under the mask the genuine one? Or maybe the mask is the reflection of something more than the surface of the presented person? Does this mask conceal, or, on the contrary, exhibit some personality traits, revealing the insides of the person. The perception of my cycle is not unequivocal and this is the way it should be; its purpose is to evoke certain kind of reflection, stimulate one’s own interpretation of the combination of these two structures. The characteristic rough structure of the material used, dried, cracked and crumbled, as in the photograph “Mask no. 1”, brings about thoughts about the unequivocal passing of time. It seems to say that although one day the face used to be very beautiful, judging by the untouched parts, then again time did what it had to do and these are no longer the same “smooth cheeks”. Was it not for the peeping eyes at the photograph, these masks could be associated with death masks. My cycle includes first of all serious, boring, noble, ugly masks, or the ones having no definite expression, just like the characters hidden below their surface. They are my shortcut, far-reaching simplification, depicting what is hidden deeply in these persons and invisible at the first glance.

The “Bread Masquerade” cycle is therefore a kind of small provocation, yielding more questions than answers, and formal solutions used by combining the two kinds of media plays the complimentary role to the conveyed meaning.

This series ends my education on the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wroclaw.

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