2009, softcover, 10.75 x 9 inches, 120 pp., 49 color,13 b/w illus.
Karolina Lewandowska, Katrzyna Ruchel-Stockmans, Allan Sekula, Hilde Van Gelder, Hamza Walker
Photographer Allan Sekula’s wide-ranging subjects include politics and history, social relations, ecology, economics—in his words, “the imaginary and material geographies of the advanced capitalist world.” He is also the author of important critical texts about photography. Sekula’s work is not so much an extension of modernist social documentary practices as it is an interrogation of and reflection on those practices. Just as it acknowledges the necessity of social documentary, it questions its viability in the face of sociopolitical ideology, invisible but omnipresent.
Importantly, Sekula’s project is not to simply take on the world, but also to link the self to the world. Given that the Sekula clan hails from Poland, this position of artist-cum-observer brought him to the Gdańsk shipyard during the rise of Solidarity. He returned to Poland and visited Chicago, home of the largest community of Polish immigrants in the United States, several times over the period of 2007-2009 to develop Polonia and Other Fables, presented at The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago in Fall 2009 and at the Zachęta National Gallery of Art in Warsaw in Winter 2009-2010. The forty photographs and accompanying text that make up Polonia and Other Fables evoke not only the artist’s family history, but on-going Polish-American relations and the effects of global capitalism.
This book also documents the photos and text of Walking on Water (Chapter 9 of Fish Story)
Published with Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw