ZYGMUNT RYTKA. PROJECTION SEQUENCES
Opening: 8.12.2023, 6pm-9pm
The exhibition “Zygmunt Rytka. Projection Sequences” is the first survey exhibition of Zygmunt Rytka’s work to be presented in Warsaw. The two floors of Galeria Studio will be filled with photographic works from over a dozen original cycles, little-known film works, and numerous archival materials. The exhibition is the result of a long-term project to compile Zygmunt Rytka’s oeuvre, carried out by Foundation for Visual Arts, and will be accompanied by a comprehensive monographic publication.
Rytka is one of the most interesting artists connected with the milieu of the Polish neo-avant-garde of the 1970s and the later independent art milieu of the 80s. He created photographic series, film and video works, and then after 2000, also objects and installations. His first solo exhibition took place in 1974 at Galeria Remont in Warsaw. Later, he was associated with Mała Galeria ZPAF, where he successively presented his new projects, as well as with the alternative art community in Lodz.
As Karol Hordziej and Daniel Muzyczuk, the curators of the exhibition, explain: “The exhibition title refers to a lost work by Rytka from 1980, now existing only in the form of documentation. It is a composition built from a series of photographs depicting people photographing the changing of the guard in front of the Royal Palace in Stockholm. This work focuses on a number of issues central to Rytka’s work. As in many of his other projects, in his hands the camera serves not only to document reality, but also to explore it and to create new images. In this case, the title Projection Sequences can relate to both the mechanism of reproduction of the image created by the authorities and that reproduced without reflection by the crowds of tourists visiting the city.”
The exhibition also brings together a number of other works, from a total of 15 original series, in which the artist examined, through the mediums of film and photography, many different phenomena, including the language of television propaganda in communist Poland (the series Photovision and 1981), the formation of myths in the area of pop culture and mass media (the series Bluff, Positions, and Toys), the objectivity of photography (Object X and Introduction to Objective Photography) and even the possibility of establishing contact between the civilization of humans and ants (the series Contact).
In most of his works, the camera or camcorder was, first and foremost, an instrument serving a cognitive purpose—a machine for better understanding reality. In total, over 200 objects have been collected at Warsaw’s Galeria Studio, including works never before exhibited, among them digitized films from 16 mm tapes, as well as Rytka’s photographic autobiography composed by the artist on over 80 A4 sheets.
The archive of Zygmunt Rytka’s work is located in Sokołowsko, where the artist lived and worked from 2008 until his death in 2018. Between 2018 and 2021, the archive was comprehensively processed and digitized by the team of Foundation for Visual Arts, in collaboration with In Situ Contemporary Art Foundation, and it has been made available at zygmuntrytka.pl. The exhibition at Galeria Studio is the next stage in the popularization of the work of this outstanding artist. At the beginning of next year, a comprehensive monographic publication will also be published in collaboration with the German publishing house Spector. Both projects have been realized thanks to the financial support of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.
Curators: Karol Hordziej, Daniel Muzyczuk
Collaboration: Foundation for Visual Arts
Consultation: Bożenna Biskupska
Production: Łukasz Kania, Jakub Antosz, Ewa Grzebyk
Conservation: Karolina Lizak, Martyna Wilkowska
Coordination: Karol Hordziej, Tomasz Gutkowski, Paulina Olszewska, Maria Prokesz
PR: Ania Bystrowska, Majka Duczyńska, Marta Sputowska
Graphic design: Kuki Krzysztof Iwański
Copy editing: Anna Szczepańska-Krasoń
English copy editing: Daniel Malone