Jakub Swerpel - Paradise lost
AVE for a few exceptions* nudity for its own sake was not a particular subject of photographic presentations in the Mała Gallery. There was not presented nude photography as a separate, already classic category of photographic art aiming at delivery of aesthetic sensations or provoking a shock thanks to its literal naturalism. A naked body used to be a constituent element of a performance**, but it was rather rarely a main subject of presented photographs.
It is otherwise in a case of the most recent project of Jakub Swerpel who proposed for his artistic debut a set of pictures presenting his friends and acquaintances. They assume chosen by themselves poses and - what seems to be important - they have with them some things - attributes of banal everyday life.
These attributes cause that all figures look grotesquely. Almost all of them cover themselves with leaves (apparently not fig-leaves) what may lead us to humorous interpretation of a biblical theme. The artists tempers loftiness and pathos of their poses by staging quite unexpected situations. Our attention not entirely concentrates on naked, very conscientously photographed bodies but it is directed rather to these miniature events. This deconcentration and divisibility of perception of photographs causes that a beholder is not fully convinced that he or she is looking at a nude. Paradoxically nudity does not dominate in these pictures but is rather a starting point for surrealistic staging.
This rather different approach to naked body consciously breaking rules of composition and faithful imitation of a model (distorted perspective) and an attempt to endow it with this ironic context allow us to look at the photographs of Jakub Swerpel in a less rigorous way.
* Exhibition of photographs of Tono Stano and exhibition based on album of photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe
** Performances of Ewa Partum and Łodz Kaliska
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04 - 04 - 2002