Lying Still - Birthe Piontek - Gallery 295 (2015)
April 10 - May 23, 2014
Through self-portraiture, still life and found imagery, Piontek has created a complex and layered narrative in the series Lying Still. Initiated as a visual diary that has accompanied the artist through her daily life, the scope of Piontek’s work has expanded to encompass a more universal account of female identity and representation. The images in Lying Still examine notions of the self, mortality, sexuality, intimacy, roles and relationships and their ever-evolving structures. Through the use of staging, Piontek also examines the artist’s relationship to the camera, while both observing and being observed. Acting as disruptions to the daily routine, Piontek’s images use rich iconography and symbolism that displaces the viewer’s expectations of the everyday, creating a psychological landscape that is as treacherous as it is poetic. Finally, with the inclusion of found press images from the 1950s and 60s depicting natural disasters, macabre scenes, women performing and modeling for the camera, and other black and white photographs, Piontek has created a multifaceted dialogue that spans generations and brings into question female representation and its relationship to the camera. Through the blending of created and found imagery, Piontek’s work points towards collective experience. Overall the work exposes the desires, urges and fears that exist latently in our subconscious and reveal themselves against the backdrop of the domestic space.
Exhibition text by Patryk Stasieczek, co-curated with Mike Love in conjunction with Capture Photography Festival.