Freckle/s by Jacek Kołodziejski in Gallery FF in Łódź
The project „Freckle/s” by Jacek Kołodziejski started with a conceptual experiment conducted already during his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznań. The artist inspired by the work by Roman Opałka began a formal examination of the ideal figure – he placed a square cut in a metal plate on the photographic paper and exposed it one thousand times. Each image served as a negative to the next. The outcome of this experiment was a figure – a stain, a stigma or a freckle – that became, at times ironic, leitmotif that connects artist’s creative endeavors. The figure is however much more than a direct representation – it becomes rather a conceptual play, which effects suggest the phenomena known in the vocabulary of
psychoanalysis as “das Unheimliche” – a concept that refers to something that is “strangely familiar”, a feeling of fear and distinctiveness in confrontation with the supposedly known experience. In the perfectly composed frames “the otherness” explored by Kołodziejski may be exaggerated, redrawn, self-ironic, or irreverent. It is however always aesthetically perfect: every element of clothing, a gaze, or a gesture are carefully overthought, and the cases of occurrence are eliminated.
Looking at those seemingly perfect frames, we do not see the ideals: every imprint or a freckle is oversized to become an auto-ironical commentary to the redness of the author himself, or a play with the social understanding of the features that may become the signs of strangeness in the eyes of the Other. The stigmas by Kołodziejski, who consciously reverts this sociological
pattern, as exaggerated and caricature as they may be, become rather an adornment, a trophy carried by the personae imagined by the photographer. This realistic vision of non-existing people: simultaneously beautiful and strange, builds Kołodziejski’s universe that exists out of this world, but symbolically comments our “here and now”: confronting the viewers and compelling them to meet the Other, also in their reality – even if that time existing only in the imagination of the artist himself.