19 December 2007

invited guest: Patrycja Dołowy - “The Story”

“The Story”, unlike my previous works, was supposed to be nice and easy, but in fact is not, as I believe. That which was obscure and unspoken within the pictures became far more significant than I had intended. In two different ways and with two different tales “The Story” talks about ordinary life without luxury. Instead of demon seductresses and charlatans, there are mothers and fathers. Instead of divine mistresses and lovers, we see wives and husbands.

The main part of “The Story” is called Hard Boiled Wonderland. It consists of scenes resembling those from fairy tales and old books with pictures of otherwordly characters. They are magical and colourful but covered with dust and dirt. They are heavy, muggy and worn out. What all of those pictures have in common is a banana motif. In each picture bananas play different roles. Why bananas? What do they convey? The first and obvious meaning is a sexual one as the banana is one of the well-known phallic emblems. The second one is less obvious but I believe it to be essential. Bananas bring back to my mind the scarce, delightful tidbit of my childhood. They were so rare under communism that when you somehow got hold of one, its divine taste would bring unequalled bliss. Nowadays, bananas have become common. Only when part of an elaborate dish (served with ice-cream, in cakes, pudding etc.), they regain some sort of uniqueness. One must make an attempt in order to make them delicious again.

In this series, I try to talk about steadiness - about happiness but also the pain it brings. “The Story” does not glorify beauty but rather the process of becoming beautiful.

The second part of “The Story” – The Banana Story – is less serious. Each picture constitutes one haiku conceived by a moment. These are recordings of our mornings – happy mornings (maybe: happy at last). Although it should be an honest depiction of everyday reality, the photographs have been coloured. Why? And why should anyone find that ‘unreal’?