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Stockholm: Orłowska

March 12, 2015 - April 25, 2015

ANNA ORŁOWSKA, Läckage och andra arbeten
12 March – 25 April 2015

Let every eye negotiate for itself and trust no agent
William Shakespeare

The photograph can often serve as a union between a photographers mental image and imprints from reality. On the one hand, conscious experiences – or unconscious leakage – memories. On the other hand, the world, reality, as it steps forward and exposes itself for the photographer and later for the beholder. The photographers mental images, experiences, memories – even the photographers perception – are built around individual and collective – unique and shared – structures. Structures that have the character of a language. A language not unlike that which dreams are made of. A language that the photographer and the viewer, at best, dream together.


In one of Orłowskas early works – The Day Before (2010) – the cinematic appropriation is significant. A number of scenes are staged around young women. The photographs bear a classic painterly touch, a Dutch-lit atmosphere. The scenes are charged with an atmosphere of uncertainty, a lack of a clear answer, resolution, redemptive end – a trait Orłowska continues to develop in her later works. The interpretation is left to the viewer as a gift or a liability; to create meaning. It is effective and anti-authoritarian. Depending on the photographer and the viewer’s sensibility and imagination, this opens up a mysterious and alluring field of associative meanings and possibilities: to learn, understand, and recognize something about us in the world.


In this way Orłowska inscribes herself in a tradition where the artist’s intentions gives way to the viewer’s experience, from the motto of the 1960’s beauty is in the eye of the beholder to the 1990’s international relational aesthetics. The artist acts as a catalyst.

In the series Leakage (2011) Orłowska develops this approach. Even though the individual images themselves have become increasingly more self-sufficient, the relations between them are more open and fragmentary. Orłowska mixes staged photographs with documentary and the cinematic appropriation is supplemented with hands-on photographic realism. Many different aesthetic conventions can be discerned in the works. Here are reminiscences of film noir, kitsch, banal- and absurdities, even traces from a special Swedish phraseology or dialect; Roy Andersson’s pared-down aesthetics is re-used on some occasions. This is no coincidence. Anna Orłowska has devoted much time to write and think about Andersson’s film work.

In another piece, Private maps (2011), performed together with Jakub Karwowski, Orłowska and Karwowski try to portray a love affair from two different perspectives. Here too mixed genres and perspectives, playfulness and seriousness can be found; everyday life matters blended with distance, death.

Anna Orłowska install her works in a way that can evoke associations to Wolfgang Tillmans. And one can find affinities with Chris Patterson’s book Redheaded Peckerwood. Hybrid forms, both documents and photographs, own and others texts, staging and documentary photography, also characterize Patterson’s works. More examples from other artists could be given. But common to them all would be that the classic photographic convention seems to be dissolved, reformulated into something more open, with a multitude of perspectives, more rich and complex.


Hans Hedberg


Anna Orłowska was born 1986 in Opole, Poland, and has exhibited in Toronto, Pingyao, Cape Town, New York, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Arles and Paris. She studied at the National Film School in Łódź at the Photographic Department and is now working on her doctoral thesis. Anna Orłowska has published one book: My bone Will knit in 30 days. This is her first solo exhibition in Sweden.


March 12, 2015
April 25, 2015
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Slupskjulsvägen 26 c
Stockholm, Sweden
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