Izabela Jaroszewska - My dreams


inna wersja językowa


Foto © Izabela Jaroszewska - My dreams, Photoinstallation and detail.


Foto © Izabela Jaroszewska - My dreams, Photoinstallation and detail.



Memory is a screen of consciousness composed of all possible associations, which gives us an opportunity to create new, unreal worlds. Using a photographic camera I can transform the existing reality into my own new World. I create pictures that combine various branches of visual arts (like film, photography and painting). My photographic research prompted me to put together "A Catalogue of Memories", which is an attempt to photograph images of memory, images connected with specific events and experience - mainly from my childhood. Those images are transitory, unclear and fragmentary - like the images of our memory.
Memory is a "chest" inside which everything that once was conscious changes into something unconscious. Remembering is this process in reverse. We try to recall what is unconscious and make it conscious again. Memories are unclear, deformed, covered with layers of forgetfulness which must be dusted away in order to reach whatever is hidden deeper. The details are barely visible - they become smeared by the layers of forgetfulness. Suddenly one point or another draws our attention, grows bright and then sinks back into darkness.
Photographs are like images in human memory. And like those images they grow meanings in time, meanings which one does not notice at first. It is as if they contained absolute knowledge of what had happened before and what would happen later.

Izabela Jaroszewska


Foto © Izabela Jaroszewska - My dreams, Photoinstallation and detail.



In his book "La chambre claire. Note sur la photographie" Roland Barthes writes that the most significant feature of photography is that it confirms the fact that something had taken place. From this point of view photography seems to give evidence of reality. Although we are aware of its manipulative abilities, we treat photography as an objective reflection of reality.
There is a moment when sleep floats away, when we are not awake yet, but we are not asleep any more. Reality and sleepy visions combine at this moment which we sometimes want to prolong. We want to dream a little more. In a dream we are easily able to travel long distances in space and time. In a dream we can recall memories.
Wake and sleep. Two worlds. The real world and an imaginary one. Photography seems to belong to that first sphere. Fortunately it also possesses the power of magic. The magic power of "embalming time".
Let's quote John Berger and ask what had occupied the place of photography before the photographic camera was invented? The answer one expects is: sketches, drawings, paintings, but a more revealing answer would be: memory.* Because more often than not we treat photography as records of memory. We speak of commemorative photographs or of giving people photographs "in memory of something" or "to remember something". The history of photography is full of examples of photo-montages created by cutting out the figures of politically inconvenient people in order to erase them from public memory. But what is the difference between photography and memory? Unlike memory, photography does not preserve meaning. Sławomir Sikora in his essay on photography and memory** uses the following example: "When in "The Indian Nocturne", a movie by Alain Corneau, a woman reporter shows Rossigniol a photograph of a Negro with his hands raised above his head, it seems that he is celebrating, perhaps having just won a race; but as it happens, he is standing in front of a shooting squad about to fire their deadly bullets. (...) press (i.e. public) photography without a context may easily mislead us as to its meaning and message."
So when does photography have a chance to preserve meanings? Primarily when it escapes its illusory objectivity to stimulate the imagination of the viewer. Andre Breton, a poet seeking inspiration in sleep (which, as we know, strongly activates the sphere of human subconsciousness), before retiring to bed would hang a tag on the door of his flat saying "Do not disturb. A poet at work". Perhaps before going to sleep Izabela Jaroszewska could also hang a note on her door saying "Do not disturb, a photographer at work" - because the inspiration of her photographs comes from dreams and sleep. Not only, though, since her photographic images are also connected with certain events from her childhood. It often happens that during her frequent travels she finds the places those photographs recall. In the photographs by Jaroszewska the images of memories do not form any borderlines, like a still-frame of a film, but they rather become sequences of mutually overlapping layers - which resembles a film photographed with a camera with a broken grab. Not even for a split second does it stop the moving tape and for this reason the film cannot imitate movement in its fluidity. Time is synthesized. Sometimes a fragment of a photograph lingers on, although it already should have passed, so it is projected onto the next picture coming into view. Sometimes the picture is blurred where we might have a memory gap. Sometimes some point sparkles more brightly than others, draws our attention, comes clearly to the foreground and gives us signs, beckons us. We are dreaming and we do not want the dream to end. Awakening will destroy our visions. Fortunately Jaroszewska knows how to photograph dreams. That is why her works are not so much commemorative photographs as photographs of memory, which visualize Berger's argument, presented above.
Two sets of photographs. One has to do with the visualization of dreams, the other recalls childhood images. Both sets treat photography as a kind of a mirror equipped with memory. An awakening usually cracks the mirror of our dreams - then the memories of childhood fade and the mirror's surface loses its gloss.

Zbigniew Tomaszczuk

* John Berger, O patrzeniu, Warsaw 1999.
** Sławomir Sikora, Fotografia - pamięć - wyobraźnia ("Photography - Memory - Imagination"), "Konteksty", vol. 3/4, 1992.

translated by Maciej Świerkocki


Foto © Izabela Jaroszewska - Book for Marquez, object.



Foto © Marek Dziedzic.
Izabela Jaroszewska, Installation - My dreams...

Foto © Marek Dziedzic.
I.Jaroszewskiej - opening of exhibitions.




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