20 October 2022 – 19 February 2023
12 PLN / 7 PLN, Thursdays: free admission
Gloss, Matt, Colour. Photography and Warsaw in the 1990s
The 1990s: a decade of contrasts, changes, breakthroughs that were in most part captured by a photo camera. Professional and amateur, reportage and art photography conjures up a captivating portrait of Warsaw of the 1990s. Visitors to the Museum of Warsaw will have an opportunity to view over 1,000 photos and films by almost 100 authors including Hartwig, Niedenthal, Rolke, Miller, Bohdziewicz, Musiałówna, Biała or Łoziński.
Jarmark Europa market, Cricoland, the first McDonald’s restaurant, posters of the first free elections and ads, trade carried out from camp beds, „jaws” and Yugo-kiosks, Józef Tkaczuk, the first day of spring but also drug related problems, poverty and strikes.
No other media tell the story of the 1990s and Warsaw as well as photography does. Photographs, both amateur and professional, captured the decade of transformation and its impact on the cityscape. Gloss, Matt, Colour exhibition at the Museum of Warsaw reaches into the archives of professional photographers, photojournalists, artists, but also into private family albums. Back then, analogue photography was a common way of recording reality that was changing and surprising. Colourful advertisements took over the urban space, glass high-rises sprang up, free trade took over the streets, protests and strikes followed.
How was this time of violent change captured by photography?
How was the city perceived back then?
To what extent is our memory of the 1990s based on photography?
Over 1,000 photos, films, postcards
Over 1,000 objects—photographs, films and postcards—have been arranged in six rooms. Whenever possible, original materials are presented: characteristic small prints, contact sheets and slide shows. Thus, the material aspect of photography has become one of the exhibition’s themes. Exposition’s sections have been named using words or expressions drawn from a photography-related vocabulary which at the same time relate to the reality of the 1990s—colour, contrast, narrative or typology.
Professional and amateur photographers
Selecting authors and works was by no means an easy process. Next to the distinguished photographers (Edward Hartwig, Tadeusz Rolke, Chris Niedenthal, Anna Beata Bohdziewicz, Anna Musiałówna), we present works by the young generation which was entering the free media market in the 1990s (Maria Zbąska, Piotr Wójcik, Krzysztof Miller), artists (Zofia Kulik, Paweł Althamer, Teresa Gierzyńska), press photographers (Kacper M. Krajewski, Anna Biała, Adam Marzec), feature and documentary filmmakers (Marcel Łoziński, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Barbara Sass). One section of the exposition is dedicated to non-professional photography—amateur, family, commemorative. Thanks to the involvement of more than 40 people who responded to the call for a collection of non-professional photographs depicting Warsaw in the 1990s, photographs from their private collections were included in the story of memory co-created by photography, pointing to the subjects invisible from the perspective of photojournalism or from the field of art.
Curator: Karolina Puchała-Rojek
Curatorial cooperation: Julia Staniszewska
Content consultants: Karolina Ziębińska-Lewandowska, Anna Duńczyk-Szulc
Exhibit design: Aneta Faner
Production: Zofia Zajkowska
Implementation: Administration and Technical Department team, Tomasz Marzec [Kontra. Art Studio]
Framing: Ksenia Góreczna, Katarzyna Radecka, Ewa Lenczewska
Conservation: Igor Nowak, Paulina Miąsik, Robert Kołodziejski, Piotr Popławski
Legal assistance: Monika Góra
Object identification and description: Piotr Głogowski, Monika Michałowicz, Karolina Puchała-Rojek, Julia Staniszewska, Anna Topolska
Digitisation: Adrian Czechowski, Michał Matyjaszewski, Anna Sulej
Post-production: Patrycja Skwierczyńska, Anna Sulej
Digitisation coordinator: Mikołaj Kalina
Pre-press: Karol Bagiński [Foto-grafika]
External loans: Janusz Kurczak, Piotr Niwiński, Marta Szotkowska
In-house loans: Tomasz Lewandowski, Aneta Matuszewska, Dorota Parszewska
Accessibility: Katarzyna Szafrańska
Text editing: Ewa Kiedio
Translation: Zofia Sochańska
Typesetting: Marcin Kiedio
Accompanying program: Nicola Cholewa, Wanda Kaczor, Alicja Małecka, Dorota Migas-Mazur, Anna Zdanowska, Marcin Matuszewski, Karolina Iwańczyk
Exhibition custodians: Agnieszka Dzieniszewska, Joanna Grabowska, Tomasz Jakubik, Emilia Kulczycka, Bogusław Kurek, Mateusz Korol, Patrycja Korol, Adam Kurkowski, Zofia Kurkowska, Roman Raba, Elżbieta Tańska, Franciszek Wicherkiewicz
Poster design: Joanna Bębenek
Communications and marketing: Joanna Andruszko, Joanna Bębenek, Melissa Czaplicka, Matylda Dobrowolska, Aleksandra Koszalska, Katarzyna Krauze, Aleksandra Migacz, Jowita Purzycka Mariana Tymtsiv, Filip Wielechowski-Olszak
Objects exhibited courtesy of: Agencja East News, Agencja Wyborcza.pl, Biblioteka Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, Anna Beata Bohdziewicz, Błażej Brzostek, Katarzyna Bułtowicz, Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej, Tomasz Chmal, Filmoteka Narodowa – Instytut Audiowizualny, Fundacja Archeologia Fotografii, Fundacja Galerii Foksal, Fundacja Kulik-KwieKulik, Fundacja Ośrodka Karta, Galeria Gunia Nowik, Galeria Le Guern Łukasz Gorczyca, Iwona Grodzka, Jerzy Gumowski, Janusz Kobyliński, Kacper M. Krajewski, Marcel Łoziński, Anna Musiałówna, Muzeum Historii Fotografii im. Walerego Rzewuskiego w Krakowie, Chris Niedenthal, Kacper Pempel, Persons Projects, Marcin Poletyło, Tomek Sikora, Basia Sokołowska, Jędrzej Sokołowski, Juliusz Sokołowski, Julia Staniszewska, Tomasz Waciak-Wójcik, Przemysław Wierzchowski, Maria Zbąska and all the participants of the “Create a 1990s’ photo collection with us” action.
We extend our thanks to all those who have contributed to the exhibition: Aleksandra Grabeus-Szmelig, Beata Grochowicz, Olga Guzik-Podlewska, Patrycja Jastrzębska, Joanna Krupa, Mikołaj Łoziński, Beata Łyżwa-Sokół, Tadeusz Matan, Magdalena Nowak-Gniadek, Gunia Nowik, Ewa M. Porębska, Marta Przybyło, Małgorzata Sydorczyk, Wiktoria Szczupacka, Aleksandra Ściegienna, Nina Wojciechowska, Piotr Wójcik, Grażyna Zdebiak, Asia Zak-Persons
Special thanks to: Wyborcza.pl Agency, ”Masław” Mazovian Region Lovers Association—”Tu było, tu stało” project, Documentary and Feature Film Studios [WFDiF], Jewish Historical Institute