CONSTELLATIONS is complicated collages about making decisions.
In this project, I look at the moment of making a decision. Decisions are made in different places, at different times, on different topics, but each time they change the life of a protagonist.
The decision is influenced by several elements: • the SACRAL layer, which includes the horoscope, worldview or religion, • FAMILY layer, containing relationships and conflicts of the closest people, in the form of a genogram, • SOCIAL layer, containing the cultural code and the „Zeitgeist”, • PHYSICAL environment as a direct reality of the place and moment, • the HERO himself – the protagonist.
Considering the decision-making process makes sense because, contrary to appearances, we are not able to logically and reasonably measure the components of decisions, we do not know what will happen next.The juxtaposition and coexistence of these very different layers builds the metaphor of the moment – between apotheosis and apocalypse.
Additional threads that appeared (and disappeared) during the development of the project for various reasons were collected and presented on the “roadmap”. This map is a kind of diary that allows for a more multidimensional approach to the topic.
The project is a reflection about psychological manipulation named „Zersetzung” (Decomposition, dissolution) which used by Stasi in East Germany.
This psychological warfare technique the secret police used to silence political opponents by repression. Their private, social, professional life was ruined and put these people into depression and suicidal condition. The main forms of this kind of manipulation were undermining self-esteem, social isolation, family dissolution, invasion in private space, increase anxiety, paralysis, disorganization, hostile, abuse, disorientation, street theater, depersonalization, child alienation, social undermining, blackmailing, stalking, perception fragmentation, repeated disappointed.
This project contents multi exposition shots and Stasi photo documentation as a subjective and objective reality.
„…not many East Germans tried to fight against the Communist regime. If yes, the Stasi often used a method which was really diabolic. It was called Zersetzung, and it’s described in another guideline. The word is difficult to translate because it means originally “biodegradation.” But actually, it’s a quite accurate description. The goal was to destroy secretly the self-confidence of people, for example by damaging their reputation, by organizing failures in their work, and by destroying their personal relationships. Considering this, East Germany was a very modern dictatorship. The Stasi didn’t try to arrest every dissident. It preferred to paralyze them, and it could do so because it had access to so much personal information and to so many institutions. Detaining someone was used only as a last resort.”
„…have a short look at the history of the Stasi, because it’s really important for understanding its self-conception. Its origins are located in Russia. In 1917, the Russian Communists founded the Emergency Commission for Combating Counter-Revolution and Sabotage, shortly Cheka. It was led by Felix Dzerzhinsky. The Cheka was an instrument of the Communists to establish their regime by terrorizing the population and executing their enemies. It evolved later into the well-known KGB. The Cheka was the idol of the Stasi officers. They called themselves Chekists, and even the emblem was very similar, as you can see here. In fact, the secret police of Russia was the creator and instructor of the Stasi. When the Red Army occupied East Germany in 1945, it immediately expanded there, and soon it started to train the German Communists to build up their own secret police.” Hubertus Knabe | TEDSalon Berlin 2014 “The dark secrets of a surveillance state”.
The Stasi, or Ministry for State Security (German: Ministerium für Staatssicherheit, MfS) by its full name, defined Zersetzung in its 1985 dictionary of political operatives as:
… a method of operation by the Ministry for State Security for an efficacious struggle against subversive activities, particularly in the treatment of operations. With Zersetzung one can influence hostile and negative individuals across different operational political activities, especially the hostile and negative aspects of their dispositions and beliefs, so these are abandoned and changed little by little, and, if applicable, the contradictions and differences between the hostile and negative forces would be laid open, exploited, and reinforced.
The goal of Zersetzung is the fragmentation, paralysis, disorganization, and isolation of the hostile and negative forces, in order to preventatively impede the hostile and negative activities, to largely restrict, or to totally avert them, and if applicable to prepare the ground for a political and ideological reestablishment.
Zersetzung is equally an immediate constitutive element of “operational procedures” and other preventive activities to impede hostile gatherings. The principal forces to execute Zersetzung are the unofficial collaborators. Zersetzung presupposes information and significant proof of hostile activities planned, prepared, and accomplished as well as anchor points corresponding to measures of Zersetzung.
Zersetzung must be produced on the basis of a root cause analysis of the facts and the exact definition of a concrete goal. Zersetzung must be executed in a uniform and supervised manner; its results must be documented.
The political explosive force of Zersetzung heightens demands regarding the maintenance of secrecy.”
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Rybalka (Fishing) is catching images from the past, intellectual game with intervention in passed times.
The acquisition of meanings and images from the past with the help of old photographs, from the past of these photographs, from the past prisoner in them and on the side of the edges of their cadres.
1. Photographs of films, boxes from them, apparatus, which made pictures, equipment.
2. Comparison in the diptych – the emergence of a new relationship between the images.
3. Immersion, placement in the past, in the context.
The information message – the key – the hook, which would allow the interpretation of the picture, for the viewer who does not know this personal story – a new and unique.
4. The transformation into “I-nowell” – the addition of a protagonist in a separate layer – as a bait for imaginary fish.
Inverted page – a bygone generation – passage of time. Printing from negatives of the grandfather in the lith print technique.
The possibility of co-authorship at the level of selecting photos for printing.
Everyone has his own subjective reality, other than visible through his appearance. This reality can change along time and coexists with its opportunity in a state of the superposition. In between of all these inner realities there is a positive one that contents happiness, the future in bright colors, the life in trust and kindness. This project contains 12 portraits of people in a difficult situation.
When a person has some trauma in the same time this person has something like a mystic line that crossed his life. There is the section marked by a red thread, the border between the rationality and the dark side of the mind. There is the tape of the will and wholeness, that connects past and future – now and here, the line separates our knowledge and hidden piece of our identity. There is a glue, that binds our world, conscience, and existence, the passage of time. Only „now” moment is colorful, a live element of the universe, only “now” has the power, energy, motion, and saturation. “Before” and “After” does not exist.
This project catches a reality which is accepted, although the tragedy weight and the psychological trauma. This feature of self- acceptance opens a way to drive through one’s life. In these portraits, we can see the distance between the common understanding of a person in trouble and their own inner world.
The relationship is hidden in time, day by day…
Superposition sequence from 3 and sequence from 2. Contact each to other, giving together.
Unseen neighboring ones in the mass of folded surfaces.
Hand. Look. Hair. Touch…
Connected in an instant and disconnected in the next second.
Folding and separation. This is the relation that transfers from one state to another.
The longest sequence of states is run from angle to angle in case of impossible open the new facet.
Some facet opens often, some – rare…
34:11 For thus says the Almighty Lord: Behold, I will take care of my sheep and look after them.
34:12 As the shepherd cares for his flock, when he is past his scattered sheep, so I will take care of my sheep and rescue them from all the places where they have been scattered on a cloudy and dark day.
Book of Ezekiel
The “Hidden State” project examines the subjective perception of the state as the possibility of self-realization of the individual, but also the source of its limitations resulting from the functioning of the apparatus of power. What can create a link of trust and cooperation? Everyone has unique competences and can be a decision-maker or advisor on specific topics. Who would you be in a global state?
Pictures reveal a non-obvious personality. Often social functions do not match the well-being of an individual. As a result of this dissonance, internal and external illegality appears. Hidden state, the idea of a dispersed state, brings out the truth of the social roles and relationships being played. The same people start to occupy completely different positions in society. Hidden state is dissonance and tension caused by the desire to be someone else.
According to the theory of the French philosopher Alain Badiou, every situation in the world contains something like a “traveling excess”. Somewhat existing (présenté) in this situation, is inscribed in the mechanism of its functioning but is in no way symbolically represented (représenté). Every situation is silent about something. At some point, this quiet part reveals itself in a completely unpredictable way. Then we are dealing with an event. It may be a social revolution, a change in the scientific paradigm, the birth of a new trend in art or a personal event that modifies the entire past life of the individual. The project “Hidden state” is an attempt to capture this silence before the storm.
A conversation was conducted with each of the models. The topic of the conversation was the state perceived as a distributed network covering everyone who wants to participate in it and realize their dreams and potential together. The main question asked to the photographed person was: who would you like to be in such a state, what position to occupy and why. The talks were conducted in Polish, Russian and English. Links to the Polish translation can be found in QR-codes and here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14.
34:11 Gdyż tak mówi Wszechmocny Pan: Oto Ja sam zatroszczę się o moje owce i będę ich doglądał.
34:12 Jak pasterz troszczy się o swoją trzodę, gdy jest pośród swoich rozproszonych owiec, tak Ja zatroszczę się o moje owce i wyratuję je z wszystkich miejsc, dokąd zostały rozproszone w dniu chmurnym i mrocznym.
Projekt „Stan ukryty” bada subiektywne postrzeganie państwa jako możliwości samorealizacji jednostki, ale też źródło jej ograniczeń, wynikających z funkcjonowania aparatu władzy. Czy może tworzyć państwo łącze zaufania i współpracy? Każdy ma unikalne kompetencje i w określonych tematach może być decydentem lub doradcą. Kim Ty byłbyś w globalnym państwie?
Zdjęcia ujawniają osobowość nieoczywistą. Często pełnione funkcje społeczne nie pasują do samopoczucia jednostki. W wyniku tego dysonansu pojawia się nielegalność wewnętrzna i zewnętrzna. Idea rozproszonego państwa wydobywa prawdę z odgrywanych ról społecznych i budowanych relacji. Te same osoby zaczynają zajmować zupełnie inne pozycje w społeczeństwie. Stan ukryty to dysonans i napięcie spowodowane chęcią bycia kimś innym.
Według teorii francuskiego filozofa Alaina Badiou każda sytuacja na świecie zawiera w sobie coś w rodzaju «wędrownego nadmiaru» (więcej na temat teorii wydarzenia Alaina Badiou można dowiedzieć się w artykułe Bartosza Kuźniarza “Pierwszy krok w chmurach: o teorii siedliska wydarzeniowego Alaina Badiou”: http://www.diametros.iphils.uj.edu.pl/index.php/diametros/article/download/529/670). Nieco istniejące (présenté) w tej sytuacji, jest wpisane w mechanizm jej funkcjonowania ale nie jest w żaden sposób symbolicznie reprezentowane (représenté). Każda sytuacja o czymś milczy. W pewnym momencie ta cicha część objawia się w całkowicie nieprzewidywalny sposób. Wtedy mamy do czynienia z wydarzeniem. To może nim być rewolucja społeczna, zmiana naukowego paradygmatu, narodziny nowego nurtu w sztuce lub zdarzenie osobiste, modyfikujące całe przeszłe życie jednostki. Projekt „Stan ukryty” jest próbą uchwycenia tej ciszy przed burzą.
Z każdym z modeli została przeprowadzona rozmowa-wywiad. Tematem rozmowy było państwo postrzegane jako rozproszona sieć obejmująca wszystkich, którzy chcą w nim uczestniczyć i wspólnie realizować swoje marzenia i potencjał. Główne pytanie zadane osobam fotografowanym brzmiało: kim chciałby Pan/Pani być w takim państwie, jakie stanowisko zajmować i dlaczego. Rozmowy prowadzone były w języku polskim, rosyjskim i angielskim. Linki do polskiego tłumaczenia znajdują się w QR-kodach lub tu: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14.