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Photography is about freezing the moment. Stopping time. Desire to make something dynamic - still. 

A photo is nothing more, but at the same time nothing less, than the representation of the reality in a certain moment. 

It is not the reality though. It is only it's visual representation, it is incomplete. It is a captured shadow in the Plato cave.


Making a photo is an instant. However the effect is long term. The purpose is to freeze dynamics, put the time in frame and produce a static result.  It is a game with time. If successful, beautiful.

Space is related to time. Representation of the space - image - is timeless, despite paradoxically representing one completely unique instant of time.

In the world of today the photo/image - we can call it representation - is dominant. We are surrounded by perfect visual representations - shadows of the reality. This again. is incomplete.


The feeling of space is complete only, if you experience it -  if you get away from the shadow. Reality of space and time is perceived by a range of senses. 

Technology allows us to produce images - photos - shadows, where the machine-like perfection is desirable. It is a machine generated shadow. It is dry and soulless. 


Like cars, cameras are fantasy-machines, their  use is addictive. 

The desire to create machine perfect reality, that is non existent, where only laws of maths apply, is a failure. Human is not a machine, human is not perfect..and space is inhabited by humans. Philip Johnson's glass house is perfect... but empty.


The real beauty is to emphasise the imperfections. To create assemblage of perfect imperfections in space. 


On the contrary photographs, which cannot themselves explain anything, are opened invitations to deduction, speculation, and fantasy...

We seem to forget this. It is not in fashion. It is not a part of the spectacle…. as the best description of today's society is the society of spectacle. 

Consumerism of ownership, snobbery and arrogance of possession, have been transformed to consumerism of appearing in the society, therefore perfect shadow in the Plato cave is so desirable.


Photography became a proof that the trip was made and that fun was had, that we achieved something. That makes us feel better, for short time. Image became souvenir... for ourselves only.


Should we try to search for the real beauty, search for imperfections, search for uniqueness, search for happiness, fear, fantasy, state of mind, deeper emotions and all stimulus that make our human life vibrant, instead of look for perfect shadow in the cave that helps us appear? It is time to reemphasise the space. It is time to ditch .... the pure image.

It might be not easy.. but it is possible if we keep trying.

Grzegorz Oleniecki

My shadows

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