Exhibition accompanying the “Col tempo / Overtime” conference summarising the cycle “Interstices. Women in the Performing Arts” realized by the Jerzy Grotowski Institute between November 2021 and April 2022. More information: grotowski-institute.pl.

If I were asked why I pick up my camera and why I take pictures, I would have to reply: I do not know. The exhibition “Clearings and Empty Places” depicts this state of non-knowledge and the acceptance of its seeming absurdity. Even now, when I am writing these words, I cannot say what else will draw my attention and what eventually will find its way into the shown cycle: the work exists in constant flux. Yet, I am sure of one thing: I harbor questions within me that I need to see in what I would call a frame.

The Hungarian photographer Robert Capa used to say: “if your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough.”

I’m interested in what it means to be close, and what it means to be far away, or not to be at all, or to be distanced. I believe that there is a space between close and far for potentiality to express itself. I like cracks and tears; I like understatements. Photography and poetry allow me to confront myself, to confront the other, and to confront the world.

Małgorzata Wachowicz

In Cracks in Existence, Jolanta Brach-Czaina wrote: “Chinks are places that hide something invisible. They conceal against looking in, and yet simultaneously induce a search for the hidden innards of reality”. Through her photography – the luminescent inlets of film – Małgorzata Wachowicz strives after a glimpse of the other side to perceive the lining of the world…

In such a visual journey nothing is certain: with each photograph, more questions appear than find answers. We attempt to look for logical connections while gazing at the emptiness of space, and the only thing we receive in return is almost a cinematic sense of loss of orientation, as if in a dark forest or thick mist, or on a lost highway…

The exhibition “Gaps and Empty Spaces” offers vague tropes only: interrupted thoughts and understated frames, with the photographer treading on uncertain ground and following only pre-sentiments. She takes the shot, noting down successive epidermic images, to solve the riddle of Heidegger’s famous thought: “The standing in the clearing of Being I call the ex-sistence of man.”

Krzysztof Szlapa
Katowice, 9.02.2022