With no expectations whatsoever of having his pictures published, Jan Kurek kept a photographic record of his morning strolls along the streets of the Łazarz district of Poznań between 1967 and 1969. His focus was on the part of street life that fell outside of the scope of interest of official media. As a TV vision engineer, he was familiar with the standing guidelines on what to show in the media, how to present it and why. None of the realities of Łazarz, which he portrayed without pretense, for his own contentement and as a means of escaping from the view of the world purveyed in propaganda coverage, fit into this framework. His depictions feature no momentous events, no illustrations of political issues, and no prominent figures that deserve to be commemorated. Too colorless and ordinary to be deemed noteworthy, the world he portrayed was never destined to be preserved in the annals of history.
In his unpretentious chronicles of morning perambulations, Jan Kurek shows a menagerie of Łazarz characters that populate a particular time and space. The "Scenes of no importance" exhibition uses them to tell stories of people going about their daily business under the radar of history, enwrapped in the largely insignificant provincial life of the Łazarz district. In the form of spatial collages, the exhibition presents a contemporary interpretation of a life that unfolds on the flip side of big history, a life that fails to meet the official criteria of what is important, noteworthy, proper and pertinent.
Exhibition duration: 19 January to 10 March 2019
photographs: Jan Kurek
curator: Michał Sita
arrangement: Anna Pilawska-Sita
visual identity design: Olga Beyga
coordination: Olga Tarczyńska-Polus
cooperation: Wirtualny Łazarz
production: CTK TRAKT
19.01., 4pm- Exhibition vernissage [PL, ENG]
02.02., 4pm - Scenes of no importance - guided tours in Polish by Michał Sita (exhibition curator) and Jan Kurek (photograph author), free admission [PL]
09.02., 11am - Setting the scene - family workshop, free admission, advance booking required [PL]
23.02., 11am - Setting the scene - family workshop, free admission, advance booking required [PL]
02.03., 4pm - Scenes of no importance - guided tours in Polish and English by Michał Sita (exhibition curator) and Jan Kurek (photograph author), free admission [PL, ENG]
materials made available by the organizer: Brama Poznania