Intermedia Tendencies in Polish Photography and Art in 1945–1988 Cover Image
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Intermedialne zjawiska w fotografii i sztuce w Polsce w latach 1945–1988
Intermedia Tendencies in Polish Photography and Art in 1945–1988

Author(s): Lech Lechowicz
Subject(s): Photography
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego
Keywords: Intermedialne zjawiska w fotografii i sztuce w Polsce w latach 1945–1988 intermedia; multimedia; medialism; neo-avant-garde;staged photography;
Summary/Abstract: The presence of photography in intermedia tendencies in Polish art of 1945–1988 might be defined if we divide them into four phases – 1945–1948, 1956–1970, 1970–1980, 1980–1988 – which render the changes in Polish modern art in the second half of the 20th century. Each of these phases points to different tendencies in and fields of intermediality. The first one, 1945–1948, is tightly linked to the modern tendencies in the visual arts, especially painting. What is at stake is both the historical abandonment of the worn-out conventions in Polish photography (relying on pictorialism) and openness to the approaches to photography practised by some representatives of Polish modernity. The second phase, 1956–1970, encompasses the exploration of intermedia as stemming from the inclusion of photography in such new fields of artistic practice as environment, installation, or film. The result was, among other things, the reduction of isolation between the art photographers and the representatives of modern art. The third phase, 1970–1980, marks the peak of Polish neo-vanguard intermedia explorations, varying in form and content, yet sharing the inclusion of photography and conceptual method. Medialism, as this tendency is called, blurs the previous divisions. The last phase, 1980–1988, marks the change in intermedia practices and broadly understood cultural origins. Staged photography constructs its intermedia aspect not only by creating such a work of photographic art that relies conceptually and formally on an image-model which already exists in visual culture, but also – in some cases – by adopting the elements derived from other media, such as manual, pictorial, or painting interventions. The intermedia tendencies this article focuses upon were permanent and evolved in each of the periods. Their complexity and specificity developed along with the changing trends in modern art. By resorting to intermedia, Polish artists significantly challenged the isolation of Polish photographers from the modern artistic tendencies, and contributed to the openness of visual artists to photography and, consequently, other mechanical media.

  • Page Range: 169-191
  • Page Count: 23
  • Publication Year: 2020
  • Language: Polish