Benoît Fougeirol / Jerzy Lewczyński
The Very Landscape of Abandon
Opening: Saturday, March 3rd, 2018, 6pm
Conversation with Benoît Fougeirol and Tomasz Szerszeń, 5pm
Galeria Asymetria, Warsaw
Galeria Asymetria will present excerpts from French artist Benoît Fougeirol’s photobook (Zus), published in 2017 by X Artists' Books. In France, "Sensitive Urban Zones" (ZUS) are poor, marginal districts defined by administrative boundaries in response to the "emergence of a social problem." According to Jean-Christophe Bailly, whose essay accompanies Fougeirol's images: "We [were] not expecting so much immobility, or such ruins. Strangely, and as if by a flourish of tragic irony, this emptiness of space brings to mind the Ideal City in Urbino. There, too, the anonymous painter omitted all human figures. But where the imaginary scene from the Quattrocento was offered as the theatre of an existence yet to come, the images of the real city, the images of the ZUS, come across as decaying segments of a bygone existence: 'people lived here.'"
Complementing Fougeirol's photographs will be Jerzy Lewczyński’s series of eighteen recently discovered slides, Opening and Closing My Eyes. As they poignantly demonstrate, all that has been photographed belongs to the past. “What I refer to as the archaeology of photography are practices aimed at discovering, studying, and commenting on events, facts, and situations that have occurred in the so called photographic past,” wrote Lewczyński. From the 1950s onward, he incorporated found negatives and documents in his photographs, creating not only new works but also a means of learning about and understanding history. Annulling the distinction between the archive and the gallery, the new archaeology of photography refers to contemporary materials, surrounding them with a montage of images and objects from the artist’s archive.