The presented pictures provide an overview of the different years of the artist’s work, from the late 50s to the late 80s. All images represent the main points of interest of the photographer from these periods: the subjective approach to the subject and the ability to capture the mood of the moment almost like a reporter. What is essential in the pictures is the connection of people and places. One can find in them people less or more known, such as Piotr Skrzynecki, the most famous artist from Piwnica Pod Baranami in Cracow, but also people totally unknown, anonymous, captured while strolling down the streets of the city. Sometimes they are captured in situations undefined, quick and unposed, like for instance in the pictures portrayning the fashion photo session of Barbara Hoff in the Jerusalem Avenue in Warsaw in 1969. The validity of the context of the place makes you know the way that both Polish and foreign cities used to look like, which constitutes an important historical record. The linking of history and photography is worth reflection, as noted by Walter Benjamin: “the language of photography bonds the history, as the history makes sense of photography”. A quotation which makes perfect sense in regard to Rolke’s work.
Tadeusz Rolke was born in 1929 in Warsaw. He is a Polish photographer whose work spans sixty years of Polish history. His early photographs show the ruined, and then rebuilt Warsaw in the new postwar, communist reality. Rolke has been a photojournalist, a fashion photographer, publishing in Polish magazines such as Stolica, Ty i Ja, or Przekrój, and German ones such as Stern, Art, or Der Spiegel. What matters to him in photography is the moment, the spontaneity of the gaze, and the documentation of reality, in which he has remained close to the notion of photography as exemplified by Henri Cartier-Bresson. Since the 1990s Rolke has been working on a series portraying Hasidic centres in Poland and Ukraine, published as Tu byliśmy. Ostatnie ślady zaginionej kultury [We were here. The last traces of a lost culture]. In 2012, Piotr Stasik made a documentary film about Tadeusz Rolke, Dziennik z podróży [Travelogue]. 2×15, a joint exhibition by Tadeusz Rolke and a young photographer, Michał Gonicki, is currently on display at the Two Moon Art House & Cafe in Brooklyn, New York. Now he is a lecturer in Department of Jurnalism of the University in Warsaw and in the Warsaw School of Photography and Graphic Design in Warsaw.
Where: Dom Towarowy „Jedynak”, Gdańska 15
monday – friday 10:00 – 18:00
saturday 12:00 – 18:00