Wojtek Wieteska, from series "Paradise 101", 2019

Japanese “MA”

Ania Diduch and Wojtek Wieteska talk the behind-the-scenes works on PARADISE 101: a photography and movie story about a “digital paradise” in the twenty-first century.

Author: Ania Diduch, Translation: Dostępny
Text style
Portrait. Ania Diduch and Wojtek Wieteska photo: Maciej Niesłony

In his Paradise 101 project, Wojtek Wieteska summarizes a cycle of photographs and movies inspired by the reality of Japan at the turn of the twenty-first century, Zen culture and Eastern culture of visual narrative, which Roland Barthes named “the Empire of Signs”, whereas David Hockney named it “a perspective of various standpoints”.

Digital technologies related to the creation and manipulation of image are literally at our fingertips. This egalitarianism forces art to define its boundaries very precisely. Particularly taking into consideration the fact that as part of the art itself, spaces among its particular branches become more and more ambiguous. In fact, PARADISE 101 is such an interdisciplinary project, where visual arts meet space design and modern music.

Large format photographs, movies, author’s own objects arranged in the space as well as the soundtrack composed at the author’s request emphasize the non-obvious boundaries between photography and movie and pose questions about the future of storytelling by digital devices.
Wojtek Wieteska has been working with digital photography since 2004, but the first pictures from the Japanese cycle, which have been used in PARADISE 101, were taken on black and white negatives. For the artist who has grown from the tradition of the art of the second half of the twentieth century, working with pictures on a physical medium is a crucial element of expression. Reaching for a classical gesture of showing pictures on photographic paper, he gives it the form which is appropriate to the times when the project is developed.

What does it mean in practice? In the times of AR and VR, showing photographs in the frames and on the walls has become anachronistic. It does not add any energy, which is cumulated and released by the media of photographs and movies. That is why PARADISE 101 mostly consists of large format installations of photographs hung in the space of the gallery, composed in groups, connected with movie shots as well as objects inspired by the main theme of the project, that is the notion of time. Lack of chronology, using scale, showing pictures in series with the same theme or juxtaposing details next to shots in a broad perspective are there to emphasize that in visual arts time and space are mostly created in relation to and in interaction with a viewer.

“I wanted to give a final shape to my Japanese cycle so that everyone could experience its visual structure, which may be read in very intimate and personal manner, comments Wojtek Wieteska and adds: “Compiling” Japanese pictures from my memory and giving them a physical form has provided me with the feeling of purifying emptiness, Japanese space called “ma”. Such a reset of mind gives space for further creative work.”

You are welcome to see the materials presenting the behind-the-scenes works on PARADISE 101 project.

The Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology, Cracow
date: TBA

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Curator: Ania Diduch
Music and sound effects: Jacek Doroszenko
Communication design: Jan Stefanski
The project under the honorary auspices of the EMBASSY OF JAPAN IN POLAND.

The works presented in the exhibition were created over 29 years: from 1991 to 2019. All photographs printed on photosensitive materials Fujifilm Flex Cristal Archive and paper Fujicolor Crystal Archive Professional Paper Maxima.

Fujifilm Poland
Fotoplus.pl, Instytut Fotografii Fort, LSW Leśnodorski Ślusarek i Wspólnicy, Wotel Kraków, Instelsc
ELLE Decoration Polska, Digital Camera Polska, Fotopolis.pl, Hygge blog, Karnet, KUKBUK, Kwartalnik Przekrój, Magazyn Szum, Presto, Muzyka Film Sztuka, Radio TOK FM, TVP Kultura, Contemporary Lynx


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