Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ewa Kniaziak - Let's Give Up On The Idea Of Romance

Our second or third winner for that matter, Ewa Kniaziak, introduced her submission to the 19,99 € Award with the kind words: "Dear jury, the first photo was taken at the .HBC in concert. I'd like to win for the money. Thank you." She immediately stroke me as a smart tactician since she knew by the time she sent in her application that our terrific 19,99 € Award ceremony was going to go down at the .HBC as well. Then again, pretty much everything decent in Berlin is happening there lately, so I guess I don't have a point. I also know her pretty well, thus I didn't really have to make any guesses about what kind of person she was. Our jury however didn't know her, so I'm all the more happy that they noticed that she's a good one. It sort of consolidates my believe in the fine art scenes, since it seems mostly pretty random what these folks like and dislike and 90 % of the self-proclaimed connoisseurs repeat some crap they found in already renowned blogs anyway. Yet my incapability of developping sound and profound judgments about pieces of fine art still remains, it's pretty different with literature, I don't even have to read it to know if it's good or at least worth burning.

If it comes to Ewa Kniaziak's photography "Let's give up on the idea of romance", our jury had some concerns about the title, yet they all agreed sooner or later that it was way more than just corny, technically very well-done and beautiful this is.

Gusti Gould Korban: "I still like "Let's give up on the idea of romance". I had an initial hesitation before choosing it (perhaps somewhat similar to your initial feeling that it's kitsch, Martin) because I felt it was "too mainstream". But then I realized that wasn´t a good reason (worrying about how I looked!) for rejecting it. It's visually quite beautiful with great textures and use of light. [...] From what I've seen so far it looks like none of us is ready to give up on romance."

Lasse Lawrence: "My second favorite piece would be "Let's give up on the idea of romance". I cannot really explain why, it's cheesy and a little hippie or 70's revival. But I must say that despite of that it's a beautiful photography work in terms of light and shapes or movements. I printed it in a very bad quality on a shitty paper on my terrible printer at home and I must say that it still looks beautiful, maybe better! I like this impression of suspended moments, I know a song called "Suspended in Love" (it's not a cheesy song at all, it's even completely hysterical), maybe it has to do with that. Time, motions, senses being suspended and that's the other part, the other side of the picture, that keeps us away from the danger, the danger to be drawn, to fall out of senses. Being suspended reminds us that we all will fall at some point."

Martin Beck: "I printed out the Romance-Picture as well, and I must say it makes a much better impression, when it’s not in that Windows-window where you always see that silly title above it. What strikes me is the complete lack of sexiness of that scene (that’s of course a very subjective thing), and I guess that indeed justifies the title to a certain extent. As I always have a problem with making my mind up with a single photography, I did something forbidden and googled the title, and seeing it in the context of the other pictures I think it’s not stemming from such a cheesy mindset as my first impression was, and there is an interesting examination of light, contrast etc. And on first glance I find some of the other pictures better than the submission. Still I think the title is a no-go."

Cornelia Huth: "Yes it is the most pathetic theme to choose ever. It's drinking too much and writing love songs. Black and white. I get the cheesy, the mainstream, being to agreeable and over-aesthetical. It is somewhat the perfect picture (and picture perfect) for a hip advertisement in Berlin Mitte, just name one. That's the thing, but that's no reason to dislike it, as Gusti said, just look at the streetart sell-out shit that's happening at the moment. There is no real or unreal, I think the context is wide in this case. It captures an individual, intimate moment and generates another individual feeling, memory, taste or smell. That's not new at all, it’s not pointing at problems or arousing intellectual discussions but it shows the ability of an artist in general to generate something out of everything. The apparatus just made the transportation visible, one to one. Moreover this little box changed the way of our perception in general. It just brings us to see pictures everywhere and see everything in pictures. All the other things I agree with too, interesting shades of light, unexpected effects, not able to localize, looks like underwater. [...] This could be the work of Ryan McGinley's assistant (who by the way was the youngest artist showing at Moma ever and at the same time working for the New York Times, the Olympics, fashion stuff etc.). It includes all the references of subjective photography or like other people say, documentation photography (Goldin, Tillmans). Although I like the medium and it's way of transporting the theme, I am having a hard time, like Martin, judging photography by just one picture and without any context information."

Here we see the young lady early in the morning, still haunted by nightmares that only a good cold morning shower can wash off.


Anonymous said...

why would anybody want to give up on romance?! I like the idea of the life long love affair with the self. Specular image and all. Scented candles burn down houses. The picture is tops, though.