Antoni Zdebiak, Everyone is Furthest from Himself

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Antoni Zdebiak, Everyone is Furthest from Himself

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Data sheet

TytułKażdy jest samemu sobie najdalszy
Concept/proofreadingMarta Szymańska
TextMarta Szymańska
DesignMarta Przybyło
LanguagePolish / English
TranslationAleksandra Szymczyk
Height (cm)24,5
Width (cm)20
Spine (cm)0,7
Year of Publication2018
Published by:Archeology of Photography Foundation

More info

Antoni Zdebiak treated art as a process and a ritual, and his own body – as a tool. In his photographs, he usually became his own model. His archive contains hundreds of self-portraits. There are classic examples among them, in which we can see Antoni Zdebiak’s face or rather hundreds of his faces. In other works, we observe him in action. 

Zdebiak (1951-1991) worked in the field of photojournalism, but was also involved in commercial, theatre and fashion photography. He realized projects for magazines such as ITD, Razem and Perspektywy. He collaborated with the top artists of 1980’s. His photographs appeared on the album covers of leading Polish bands and musicians, i.a.: Budka Suflera, Republika, Siekiera and Urszula. However, the most important area of his artistic activity remained his own projects, in which self-portraits and self-representations took a special place. The exhibition presents a few dozens of works from 1975-1988. They include Witkacy-like ‘clashes’ with one’s own face – series of self-portraits, Zdebiak consequently repeated for his entire adult life. Altogether, he took over 500 pieces of this kind. There are also sequences of photographs, in which the narrative and scenography are of a crucial importance. Those to-camera performances were recorded with thoroughness and the artist paid a great attention to details and composition. He often was a performer, but also an actor, a director and a choreographer. While working, he would use different formal means, yet only the holistic approach towards Zdebiak’s autobiographical artistic work allows to construct a portrait of an artist and an individual – searching, struggling with his own image and with the inability to gain the desired self-knowledge and self-awareness as well as with evanescence and the variability of human nature.

The project is co-financed by The Capital City of Warsaw.