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EXHIBITIONS

Gloss, Matt, Colour. Photography and Warsaw in the 1990s

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.

COLOPHON

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

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