Photography in time of the pandemic
The idea for the Open Box project was born during conversations with photographer Jan Bortkiewicz, from the need to show the extraordinary image of recent reality dominated by information about the coronavirus pandemic. Since spring, the accessibility of cultural institutions, galleries and museums, has been limited – both for audiences and artists. In this unprecedented situation, Open Box offers the prospect of a meeting between people functioning in the same “unreal” reality and tells a story about all of us: affected by the new rules of social functioning, experiencing everyday fear for our safety and the safety of our loved ones, health and the future, fostering hope.
Photographers, the keen observers and watchful documentarians of surrounding reality, have been at work since the beginning of the pandemic, creating material for their desk drawers and storage boxes. The Open Box display frees these pieces. The project’s special potential lies in the presentation of “documents of our time” on the streets of Warsaw, in places where we pass and meet each other, endure in solidarity and support each other in the challenges of everyday life.
Paradoxically, despite the imposed self-isolation, the time of the Covid-19 pandemic is primarily a time of emotions registered by the photographers’ watchful eye. The appearance of the street has changed. In these difficult times, fear and anxiety mix with hope and everyday joys, and the enforced loneliness makes people realize their needs and the value of closeness. During the wearisome pandemic, we can see better.
Photographers who opened their boxes for us: Jan Bortkiewicz, Dariusz Dobrowolski, Konrad Falęcki, Sławomir Kamiński, Marek Lapis, Magdalena Piejko, Marta Rybicka, Michał Szlaga.
The Open Box project can be viewed from 20 October 2020 through 20 December 2020 online at www.u-jazdowski.pl and on the streets of Warsaw.