Different Worlds 2019 – Curator's Edition
Opening of both exhibitions: 11 November 2019 at 19h at Kino Šiška
From 11 until 30 November 2019
This year, the open call for young and not-yet-established curators in the field of contemporary photography, organized by the Photon Gallery, replaced the competition traditionally focused at young photographers. The competition was aimed at curators up to the age of 35 who work, live, or are internationally active in countries of the CEE region. The applicants drew on the material for their exhibition project proposal from the past six editions of the Different Worlds (2013–2018) photo competition, namely from the respective sets of about ten finalists of each edition. The winner of the competition is Mary Marinopoulou, who is exhibiting her winning proposal at Kino Šiška, which is also the co-producer of the exhibition.
The Different Worlds 2019 photo exhibition is the experience of a world constructed out of the fragments of the existing worlds, seen through the eyes and captured by the cameras of Ajda Schmidt, Tina Umer, and Jaka Bulc. What makes this photo exhibition ‘the experience of a different world’ is that our perception of it is the same as how we perceive our external world: we walk inside it, choose the angle we wish to view it from, become one with it and allow it to affect us the same way it allows us to affect it.
Unlike most photo exhibitions, the concern of Different Worlds 2019 does not lie in the best possible presentation of each photo, it’s perfect framing and optimal lighting, but in how each photo acts as an integral component of this different world that we are building. This still world, absent of humans, actions and interactions, comes alive with time, as with each minute the natural light changes. What we realize during this experience is how our presence constantly reshapes this world, how each layer of it melts into the other and how, together with our bodies, they are all part of the ‘different world’.
Text: Mary Marinopoulou
Mary Marinopoulou (1989) was born in Greece, but she has lived and worked in Lithuania for a number of years, where she is currently finishing her Masters in Photography and Media Arts at the Academy of Fine Art in Vilnius. She previously graduate form BA Theater Studies at the University of Peloponnese in Athens, were she started working with film, which is the main focus of her work.
Photon Gallery presents a solo show by Alexandra Nowyz, who won first place at the Different Worlds 2017 competition and her expanded winning series Better Tomorrow.
Aleksandra Nowysz: Better Tomorrow
From 11 November until 3 December 2019
Better tomorrow is the name of one of the allotment gardens in Poland. It is also the title of the story about an alternative site in the city, which lives beyond the profit maximization paradigm and beyond the urban order. Nowysz refers to utopian visions of ideal cities from the industrial era, the remnants of which are allotments. Some of the first gardens have survived until today and are an extraordinary example of the agrarian landscape in our cities. To emphasise its utopian element, the artist focuses on the garden as an ideal space without the nature-culture distinction. She took pictures over different seasons and weather conditions to catch an unusual light and to show the landscape diversity and variability. As a result, the photographs have dreamy aesthetics and look like frames from wonderland. By photographing allotments, the artist attempts to point out an alternative approach to the human habitat and food production. She shows the garden as the right model of our activity on the environment.
The achievements of the industrial revolution, which enabled long-distance transport, resulted in the separation of cities and food production. The spatial pattern of a modern metropolis, for instance, urban growth and a lack of vegetated areas, were influenced by the industrialization of food as such. In the early decades of the 20th century, urban planners and architects responded with visions of ideal cities, such as Garden Cities of Tomorrow (E. Howard), New Regional Pattern (L. Hilberseimer) and Broadacre City (F. L. Wright), where food cultivation was indicated as a leading factor. Allotment gardens are remains of modern, utopian visions from the industrial era. The aim was to provide new urban dwellers a piece of land to produce their own food. Some of the first gardens survived until now and are an extraordinary instance of agrarian landscape in cities. Furthermore, the allotments are created by their users − the gardeners, members of the community. As a result, this landscape is a combination of nature and art brut that gives a fairy tale aesthetic. Nowadays, urban farming is rising as a citizen’s right to produce food and cultivate the land. Better Tomorrow is the original name of one allotment garden in Poland. The story is about an alternative place in the city that lives beyond the profit maximization paradigm and beyond the urban order. The project refers to visions of ideal cities from the industrial era. To emphasize its utopian element, it focuses on the garden as an ideal space without a nature-culture distinction. Pictures were taken during different seasons and weather conditions in order to catch the unusual light and show the diversity and variability of the landscape. The aim is to create an oneiric aesthetic and frames from wonderland. By photographing allotments, I attempt to point out an optional approach to human habitat and food production. I see the garden as a proper model of the impact of our activity on the environment. The production of goods under urban agriculture, such as food produced for market or own use, goes beyond private goods. Urban farms perform economic, social and ecological functions. They can be used as a tool in urban renewal as well as provide real help in crisis situations by supporting food sovereignty.
Text: Aleksandra Nowyz
Aleksandra Nowysz (1987) is an architect, junior researcher and a photographer. She graduated in 2011 at the TU Wrocław Faculty of Architecture. In 2014 she started research about urban farming architecture as a PhD candidate. From 2016 she studied at the Institute of Creative Photography in Opava. She currently lives and works in Wrocław, Poland.