Cezary Zacharewicz


A Minor Apocalypse by Cezary Zacharewicz

Modern world showers us with a mass of information and overproduction of all kinds of goods. Consumption is not an individual thing, and it does not recognise a human life scale. Why is the excess of our everyday needs accepted so easily? Is the terror of a producer who forces excessive amounts of products on us the only thing left for us?

When we read A Minor Apocalypse by Tadeusz Konwicki, it made us painfully aware of the tragedy of place and time. The vision of a falling civilisation presented by Konwicki was a result of lie and a constraint of minds. Is Zacharewicz’s generation experiencing a different menacing apocalypse?

Cezary Zacharewicz’s photos answer this question. They depict the product that we so fondly consume – portions of meat. He employed the advertisement-like style here (packshot). Both a white background and an aesthetically photographed product are a conscious reference to the language of advertisements. However, when little human figures were added, they changed the message of these photographs, and turned them into a macabre theatre. It makes us aware of the horror of eating – not eating products, though, but parts of living beings. It visualises our greed and passiveness in tolerating overproduction.
Zacharewicz combined subtle advertising aesthetics with apparently funny human figurines struggling with loafs of meat, which made these images start to scream. We begin to look at the world without the “pink glasses” which were given to us by ad producers. Populist valuing of the world, proposed by advertisements, has been revealed. We ask ourselves a question – does respect for other beings, and for their death in order to sustain our own life, turn into uncritical approval of consumption of any anonymous project from hypermarket shelves? Virtually, it is a death ad for a carcass eater.

Zacharewicz’s apocalypse, similar to Konwicki’s, does not have a cosmic range. It applies only to a fragment of our life. Yet, this can be the first harbringer (angel) of death. We perceive each vision of the Apocalypse as something unreal and fantastic. His “Meatings” series of photos gives us two totally different sensations – disgust and childish enchantment with fun. Playing with figurines transforms the theatre into a tragicomedy, while loafs of meat become a monstrous golem. It is a miniature of the present world, i.e. the world of Zacharewicz’s generation. This style, or even a trend in photography, whose distinguishing marker is the use of a small stage and miniature models, figurines or dummies, already has a number of very interesting representatives (like Lori Nix, Slinkachu or Paweł Żak).  It is their comment. We do not see the dangers of the present world, as if they did not concern us. At the same time, the problem of overproduction and consumption is marginalised. The same thing happens to the little figurines of people whom we can trample and treat like in a childish game.

Grzegorz Przyborek

Łódź, 6 March, 2009