Tomasz Szerszeń “Architecture of Survival”, 2017 / 2019, photography
The photographic series Architecture of Survival is devoted to the ephemeral architecture that the artist, photographer, anthropologist and writer discovered on the Greek island of Samothrace. Temporary shelters made of stones, sticks and old blankets, built by city dwellers who come here to rest from civilisation, try a different life, or to be alone.
As Szerszeń says: “This space, which limits movements to basic gestures of survival, is also a good vantage point from which the tectonics of contemporary crises—economic, refugee, ecological—become clearly visible.” Samothrace was a sacred island in antiquity, in the twentieth century, after the Greek Civil War, it became a place where opponents of the regime were expelled to. Today it is a border of Europe, its bridgehead in the Aegean Sea and a witness to the refugee tragedy.
The photographs in the Studio Gallery collection are part of a series that includes several dozen black-and-white photograms and was shown in our exhibition “Transfert” in 2019.