Masha Ivashintsova (1942—2000) was a completely unknown photographer until late 2017, when 30,000 of her negatives and around 1000 prints together with hundreds of pages of personal diaries were discovered by her daughter Asya and her husband Egor in their family home in Saint Petersburg. The discovery made waves across the world and Masha’s incredible life story and her photos captured the imagination of audiences far beyond photography circles.
Masha Ivashintsova was heavily engaged in the Leningrad poetry and photography underground movement from 1960s to 1980s. She was in relationships with three famous Soviet personalities of the time; photographer Boris Smelov, poet Viktor Krivulin, and linguist Melvar Melkumyan, who is also an Asya’s father. Her love for these three men, who could not be more different, defined her life, consumed her fully, but also tore her apart. She sincerely believed that she paled next to them. She did not share her photography, her diaries, and poetry with anyone during her life. As she wrote in her diary: “I loved without memory: is that not an epigraph to the book, which does not exist? I never had a memory for myself, but always for others”.
The Masha Ivashintsova archive contains a photographic record of everyday life in the Soviet Union and post-communist Russia. It is a street photography, but also photography about the ‘self’, about Masha’s reflective consciousness as a prism of her reality and destiny. The calmness of these photographs lies in stark contrast to the fact how torn the artist was throughout her life.
It is symbolic that the first world exhibition of Masha Ivashintsova works takes place in Poland. Her grandfather Alojzy Świetlik was a polish national and her father Yuri Ilyichev died in 1944 near Warsaw during the World War II. „It was not specifically planned like this and therefore is especially surprising”, says her daughter Asya.
We are exhibiting Masha Ivashintsova’s negatives untreated – with all of the scratches, dust, and mold left by time – the same state in which Masha’s daughter Asya found them. Therefore the images are placed on light boxes. Masha’s photographs are like the streets of Saint Petersburg she photographed, cleaned or not, reflecting life in the cold northern sun.
The exhibition is curated by Katarzyna Gębarowska and Masha Galleries.
Where: Dom Towarowy „Jedynak”, Gdańska Street 15 (entrance from Dworcowa Street), 3rd floor.
Monday to Friday: 10:00 — 18:00
Saturday: 12:00 — 18:00
Entrance fee: 10 PLN regular, 5 PLN reduced-fare.
Wojciech Prażmowski was born in 1949 in Częstochowa, Poland. He began working as a photographer in 1968 and participated in the National Exhibition of Fine Art Photography in Czestochowa. In 1975 he graduated from the Skola Vytvarnej Fotografie in Brno, Czech Republic, and from the National Higher School of Film, Television and Theatre in tsidi, Poland. To date, he has participated in over 300 photographic exhibitions in Poland and abroad. Praimowski has been a member of the Association of Polish Artists Photographers (ZPAF) since 1977. Initially involved in metaphorical photography, with elements of conceptualism, he later produced,photo-ob-jects: His works are held in the collections of the tocii Art Museum, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, The National Museum in Warsaw, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
“Miłosz: From Around Here” is a project created by Wojciech Prażmowski, implemented under Ministry of Culture and National Heritage “Milosz 201 presenting places connected to the life and work of Czeslaw Milosz.The project is an imaginary journey, following the Master’s footsteps after, important for the poet, places in Poland and Lithuania. The author of the exhibition travelled over 7000 kilometres in Lithuania and Suwalki region, made nearly 3000 photographs, visiting dozens of towns and places in Poland and Lithuania: among others : Babance, Wigry, Rachelany, but above all Vilnius…Wiwulskiego street, Bernardi ne Alley, KrOlewska street, etc.. etc.
The idea of the exhibition is the intermingling of cultures and “from around here” belief. When Milosz is in Berkeley- he’s local when in Krakow – he’s loc’ and in Lithuania – as well. The importance of this exhibition is Milosz’s poetry which is and will be time-less, to taste- from Tomaszow, to Klaipeda and Sydney. Working on the exhibition – Prazmowski – often deliberately sought to unify he images, almost to symmetrical combinations.
My name is Major Sium Yimesghen, an eritrean citizen. I ani currently living in Malta as a migrant ( to be resettled to a third country). The aim of my artistic project is to introduce people the lived realities of migrants and refugees; to tell people that people are fleeing their homelands after having being left with no choice to free themselves from shackles of dictatorship, tyranny, atrocities, tortures, slavery, political crisis , and civil war.
Anna Grzelewska is a photographer and director of documentary films. She was born in Warsaw In 1976 and continues to live there. A student of Cultural Studies at the University of Warsaw, she also graduated from the Warsaw School of Wajda, and attended the Institut Tviirti Fotografie (ITF) in Opava, Czech Republic. Her photographs have been published, among others, in the following magazines: The Guardian, Geo, Election, Politics, cross section, Newsweek Poland, Rzeczpospolita, Elle, Beauty of Life, Exklusiv, Kikimora and Gaga.
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The tittle of the project is a reference to „Madonna wannabe” (=Me., who listen to Madonna’s music are dressing and doing make-up` exar tly like she does. With these external attributes they try to discover the escense of being Madonna, the essence of femininity she embodies. Paradoxically, it helps them to express themselves.