Rzymanek, a photographer originating from the Silesia region in Poland, traveled to India in December 2006 with the aim of photographing the country in a way that would capture its overwhelming sense of variety, uncertainty, and contrast. She accomplished this, using a Holga, a cheaply manufactured, medium-format, 120-film toy camera that often causes distorting effects, such as light leaks and blur.
As a result, the photographs come across as obscure and dreamlike, while also communicating liveliness through wonderfully vibrant colors. These effects, states Rzymanek, “are part of the camera’s charm.” While the photographer does, for the most part, retain control over the camera, another exciting peculiarity of the Holga is the way in which the final outcome remains unpredictable.
Developed commercially and transferred onto computer solely for printing purposes, the photographs are presented in their natural state, free of any further manipulation. Rzymanek says that, on her first trip to India three years ago, she used a digital camera and found it did not suit the project, as it failed to meet the desired effect and the photographs did not have the right impact.
The pieces comprising the collection are unique, not only for their angle, diversity and style, but also for the technique by which they are created. “When taking these photographs,” says Rzymanek, “I was led by my emotions.” Consequently, the photographs depict a variety of subject matters, such as people, places, architecture, and animals, encountered in the different areas of Rzymanek visited, namely the cities of Delhi, Agra, Goa, Jodhpur, Varanasi, Hyderabad and Mysore.
According to Rzymanek, “nothing is for certain in India, either visually or even in the mentality of the people ? everything is there, tangled together.” She mentions the example of the gap between wealth and poverty. “The Taj Mahal, for instance, enormous and magical, makes an unbelievable impression, though just outside those walls, it’s filled with poverty ? India is a very contrasting country.”
Originally having studied biology, Rzymanek started pursuing photography during her second year in college, a passion which led her to enroll in the Warsaw School of Photography.
Though having previously exhibited other works in Warsaw and the Photography Festival in Lodz, this is her first individual, public exhibit.
The main space of the Pauza Club, facing ul. Florianska, holds some of the works, displayed in a large format. In addition, a separate room contains the whole twenty-piece collection lined up, with some of the main works repeated in a smaller version.
Unfortunately, not all of the photographs Rzymanek would have liked to share are included in the exhibit. In fact, it could be said that there are missing pieces to the puzzle. Nevertheless, the selection successfully reflects the vision and approach of the artist, through astonishing, vivid scenes, conveying a blend of visual, sensory and spiritual elements.
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ul. Florianska 18/3 ? 1st floor