11 February 2012

in the car with R.

Rafał Milach, photo from the book "In the car with R."

It’s freezing outside for several days in Poland, -15C at the moment, few days ago there was -35C…cold. It seems most inappropriate time for taking to hands book about Island. Just the first view into the book makes it sure – unsaturated, slightly overexposed photos prove that Island is land of cold. The text between the pictures doesn’t improve the reception – it illustrates coldly relation between two, at first view bit casual travellers crossing Island together – the photographer (Rafał Milach) and the writer (Huldar Breiðfjörð).

Rafał Milach, photo from the book "In the car with R."

But, this book warmed my heart – don’t remember when I had so well thought, edited and printed book in my hands. It almost like hand made notebook with very original covers, all joint together with two red rubber bands – delightful form in total. What’s inside the book, warms me even more – great and greatly selected photos of R. mixed with rough, excellent texts with observations of H. Those two great artists, from different countries, with different backgrounds and representing different branches of art met to register and show us Island today. We receive bit chaotic story about this severe land and its people, but also about pain of art creation and pain of human relations start-up, H. and R. relation. The story seems chaotic, but those puzzles create coherent global image.

Both of the artists are frank with us and with themselves, they don’t want to please us, show the things as they are at the moment. We may feel the irritation, boredom, lack of patience, lack of understanding, but finally also fascination…

Rafał Milach, photo from the book "In the car with R."

This book is in a way continuation, o rather supplement to book IS(not) published by Sputnik Photos. Material created during preparatory of former book, in case of relation of R. and H. allowed to prepare new project. Photos of this project were awarded by the Jury of New York Photo Awards 2011 and the project of the book received Blurb award.

Finally, what makes me really happy, the book found editor in Gliwice – birth-place of Rafał Milach, in Czytelnia Sztuki.
The project manager and curator of exhibition associated to promotion of the book was one of F-ers – Maga Sokalska.

Rafał Milach, born in Gliwice in 1978 photographer, studied at Fine Art Academy in Katowice and ITF in Opava. Author of several important esseys about Central and Eastern Europe transformation. His works were awarded many times in most prestigious contests, let me just mention World Press Photo or Picture of the Year International.

Huldar Breiðfjörð is born 1972 and lives in Reykjavík. He studied literature at University of Iceland and film at New York University. He has published three books: Góðir Íslendingar (1998), Múrinn í Kína (2004) and Færeyskur dansur (2004). Huldar has also written for the screen and sometimes makes documentaries.