History Lesson, 2012, archival inkjet print on cotton paper, dibond, 140 x 349 cm
"New Histories" is a premiere of new photographs by Zbigniew Libera - an artist whose works have had a striking impact on the art world and provide a constant source of inspiration for subsequent generations of artists, critics and audiences. For the first time since Libera's Positives, Masters and La Vue, the public has the opportunity to witness a new collection of monumental works, conceived by Libera over several years and ultimately produced between October 2011 and November 2012.
The much talked-about Positives series played with the photographic image and memory in an
attempt to deconstruct and reconstruct history anew. Libera's latest photographs compose an independent, all the while intellectually consistent, whole. With Positives, we grappled with the traumas of the past, here we measure up to the nightmarish visions of the future. Libera illustrates the presentiments and fears that arise in our considerations of what the future has to hold. The scenes that seem impossible, or conversely - the scenes that we are certain will come to life sooner or later. In various ways Libera illuminates the most obvious of futurist frames - the apocalyptic notion. He takes on the role once again of an insightful critic of the cultural stereotypes of today, as opposed to that of an engaged prophet. These new images bring back the histories of old: the figure of the Other, power struggles, exclusion, colonisation and liberation.
At the same time, to an extent greater than in previous works, the anarchist fantasies and dreams of the "Sensitive Police Officer" created by an artist who is aware of his place in the social order give way to alluring images and jarring discussions.
The exhibition will be followed by an album of photographs by Zbigniew Libera from the years 1982-2012. The commentary by German scholar Dr. Martin Maneke sums up the artist's unique strategy:
"In Libera's hands, the camera is simultaneously a tool for recording, analysing and
creating. He looks through the lens of alternative history and creates conspiracy theories
which bear testimony to his individual and intellectual independence from the mass folly
of contemporary societies. Thus, the artist's anarchic intuition merges into evocative
images two basic qualities of our human presence: the political and the mortal".
African Tales by Shakespeare, 2012, archival inkjet print on cotton paper, 100 x 84 cm