Katarzyna Mirczak, et(h)er

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Data sheet

Height (cm) 18
Width (cm) 13
Spine (cm) 1
Concept/proofreading Katarzyna Mirczak
Text Iwona Kurz, Katarzyna Mirczak, Adam Mazur
Design Maja Kaszkur
Translation Marcin Mutermilch
Language Polish / English
Pages 128
Year of Publication 2012
Published by: Archeology of Photography & Eric Franck Fine Art

More info

‘et(h)er’ consists of archival forensic pictures, and photographs of tools of crime taken by the author. The book is a voice in a discourse of the functioning of death images in visual culture.  In the case of Katarzyna Mirczak, an archeologist by education, we are dealing with an archival practice which—by no means metaphorically—touches on the taboo of death. “ether is a catalog of ways, a registry of dying”—says the artist. I wanted to classify all of this, assign numbers, tame it, catch some kind of repetition or chorus red-handed. But nothing is repeated here. There are no rules. A girl leaves home taking her grandmother’s dress and uses it to hang herself in the woods. Someone dies suddenly on the street, as if on the way somewhere. Photographs and archive material featured in the exhibition are voices in a discussion on the function of images of death in visual culture. I feel responsibility on many levels—says Mirczak, commenting on the moral issues related to the exhibition. I work with two major collections. The photographs I will show in the exhibition are just a fraction of a whole which was divided into groups according to the classification methods used in forensic medicine: death by natural causes, cut wounds, stab wounds, etc. In each of these sections photographs were selected in a way that also bestows them with historical value, for instance, with respect to the methodology of photographing; on the other hand, together they constitute a single whole. The new works by Mirczak presented in ether follow-up as well as expand on the artist’s practice—and are also an exceptionally strong closing statement in the “enlivening archives” program pursued by the Foundation.

 

The publication is a part of the Living Archives project, financed by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.