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PHOTOMONTH IN KRAKOW — 2010 Photomonth_kropki_duze

JOHN STEZAKER Photomonth_kropki_duze

John Stezaker
Curator: Jake Miller, Great Britain


In the framework of this year’s edition of Photomonth in Krakow, Pauza Gallery presents an exhibition of photographic collages by outstanding British artist John Stezaker. These will be works from the Masks series (1980s), collages from the Bridges series, and his latest works: Gothic Heads. In creating his collages, Stezaker always uses the same method – he puts two images alongside one another: a photograph and an old-fashioned landscape postcard. When travelling to cities the artist hunts down photographs that interest him, which he collects, and then uses in his work, stripping them of their original, conventionalised meaning.

In the case of the old photos of actors, this meaning would be the cult of bygone film stars. Stezaker breaks viewers’ preconceptions, focusing attention on images that might otherwise escape their notice. As the artist himself has said: ‘My goal is to make the image appear once more, to make the world visible’. Using the irrational logic of a dream state, in which one object might be replaced by another, Stezaker introduces a surreal effect, forcing viewers to study the seemingly banal photographs carefully, and thus to reflect on the automatic way we make contact with a picture.

Born in 1949, John Stezaker is a key artist for contemporary British art. Apart from surrealist tropes, his work reveals the influence of conceptualism (the artist belonged to the British Conceptual Art group) in his use of found photographs as ready-mades. Stezaker began by studying painting at The Slade School of Art in London, and confesses to such inspirations as French situationism (above all Guy Debord), treating collage as a technique that aims to express political and social commitment. Above all, however, John Stezaker remains an artist fascinated by the picture itself and its status in contemporary visual culture.





John Stezaker
Curator: Jake Miller

Coordinator: Joanna Krawczyk

Grand opening: 07.05.2010, 9:30 p.m.
Pauza Gallery, ul. Floriańska 18/5 [2nd floor]
Exhibition dates: 8–30.05.2010; TUE-FRI: 3:00-9:00 p.m., SAT-SUN: 12:00-9:00 p.m.


Exhibition partner: The Approach Gallery, London, Great Britain