_Wrzesień 2019

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_Zbigniew Libera

Defeat on cross-country race, Positives series, 2003/2004, colour photograph, artist’s proof [ap], 106x71 cm.

Positives is a series of photographs, which refer to photographic material published in different newspapers and magazines. The artist criticizes liberal trends in art, which, in fact, endanger personal freedom. He concentrates on such subjects as totalitarian politics and political monopoly. In his Positives series, Libera references journalistic photographs that have become inscribed on the public mind. Because of their broad use in the media, these images have entered textbooks and much of recent history is perceived "through" them. The concept of these Positives, produced by photographing arranged scenes that uncannily resemble situations once recorded by photojournalists, is to invert the message of images that have become iconic. Libera’s method reveals the mechanical way in which the perceiver "recognizes" that which is not in fact depicted. The images of concentration camp prisoners or victims of napalm attacks exist for merely a moment as the mental illusions of observers, illusions that arise from purely formal suggestion. The artist’s "renewed" versions of "photographs that shook the world" elicit various interpretations - from calming ones that perceive them as reminders of the power of photographs that have been thoroughly consumed, to those that seek to read them as breaks in the smooth surface of "correctly" perceived history.” (http://www.polishculture-nyc.org/libera_more.htm)