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CITY PROGRAM
Łukasz Rusznica – When You Look Me In The Eyes Twice, I’ll Spread My Lips Or Clench My Fists / Photos From IPN Archives

IPN Archive, Barbara "Niusia" ("Wisła") and Cpl. OCdt. "Orkan" Śliwowski, who are sleeping after an all-night march of Tadeusz "Lawa" Gaworski’s Aviation Company."Kampinos" Home Army build-up, 1944. Photo designation: IPNBU-2-21-4-207

Łukasz Rusznica – When You Look Me In The Eyes Twice, I’ll Spread My Lips Or Clench My Fists / Photos From IPN Archives

TIME
14.06 - 11.08.2024
PLACE
Miejska Galeria Sztuki w Łodzi - Galeria Bałucka, Stary Rynek 2
OPENING
14.06, 19:30
HOURS
Mon closed
Tue - Fri 12:00-18:00
Sat - Sun 12:00-17:00
ENTRANCE
standard ticket: PLN 4, discounted ticket: PLN 2, Thursday: free entry, with Fotofestiwal pass: free entry
A car, licence plate "WZ 0286". In the background, there is a panoramic view of the chemical plant in Police. The Mercedes logo is visible in the bottom left corner. Espionage activities of diplomats representing capitalist countries accredited in Poland. Photo designation: IPNSz-11-5-4-3

A car, licence plate "WZ 0286". In the background, there is a panoramic view of the chemical plant in Police. The Mercedes logo is visible in the bottom left corner. Espionage activities of diplomats representing capitalist countries accredited in Poland. Photo designation: IPNSz-11-5-4-3

What does the system look at? What does this gaze reveal about the system itself?

Over 40 million photos rest within the archives of the Institute of National Remembrance (IPN). Among them, you will find photographs of things that are important for the history of Poland, but also evidence for the banality of human activity, small crime and insubordination. Their common denominator: violence.  Violence expressed in the gaze of an agent of the system.

 

From the point of view of the oppressive regime, everything is interesting and important. There is nothing insignificant enough to be ignored. As is the case with everything connected to memory, here, too, we are bound to stumble upon things that have been repressed and considered inconvenient. That’s exactly why silence is such a significant clue. After all, if it’s undocumented, it may very well be dangerous.

This exhibition is yet another attempt to ask questions about history, memory and our past. The book How to look natural in photos by Beata Bartecka and Łukasz Rusznica is a part of the event.

 

ŁUKASZ RUSZNICA
Łukasz Rusznica (1980) is a photographer and curator who focuses on photo books. He has the “Archiwum Słońca” Publishing House in Wrocław.

TOMASZ STEMPOWSKI
Tomasz Stempowski (1971) is a historian, IPN archivist, author and a co-author of articles, as well as a publisher of books such as: Along the Sandy Trails with the Carpathian Riflemen, Photographs by Capt. Karol Angerman, 1940–1944; Zbiór fotografii Głównej Komisji Badania Zbrodni przeciwko Narodowi Polskiemu; Polskie drogi przez Szwajcarię. Losy żołnierzy 2. Dywizji Strzelców Pieszych 1490-1945 na fotografiach ze zbiorów Muzeum Polskiego w Rapperswilu; Siege of Warsaw in the Photographs of Julien Bryan; SS-Oberscharführera Hermanna Baltruschata career 1939-1943: photographic album of a functionary of the Einsatzgruppe and Geheime Staatspolizei of the Polish territory incorporated into the Third Reich; Law in film. He has a blog about historical photography – fototekst.pl.

Curator: Łukasz Rusznica
Texts accompanying the exhibition: Tomasz Stempowski, Łukasz Rusznica
Translation: Aleksandra Szymczyk

 

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Miejska Galeria Sztuki (City Art Gallery) – Bałucka Gallery, Stary Rynek 2

DID YOU KNOW that Stary Rynek (the Old Market) in Łódź was completely rebuilt in 1953?

Another branch of the City Art Gallery in Łódź is located at the Old Market. It is one of the oldest sites in the city. The Market used to be the living heart of agricultural Łódź. This is also where various essential buildings were located: the town hall, inn, prison, as well as and residential houses. In the 19th century, the Market was the city’s trade centre. The father of Izrael Poznański, Kalman, had his business there. However, after the New Market was built, the old one slipped into oblivion. There was a green area and some nice avenues, but life became quite stagnant. During WWII, the Market belonged to the closed Jewish ghetto, after the Nazis delineated the border of Litzmannstadt Ghetto near the Market (Litzmannstadt is a German name for Łódź). At that time, the entire quarter of the city was demolished – houses were damaged, and so were the Jewish fish market and the synagogue. 

After the war, in 1953, a new park was created where the old, demolished houses used to be. The park was unofficially named “the Herring Park” (in reference to the former fish market), and the Market was entirely rebuilt. Alas, for a long time, it remained forgotten and empty. In 2024, it was revitalised, so we hope that its best times are yet to come. 

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