A feature unique to us humans, regardless of gender, is this constant conscious urge to obstruct our own lives, to create problems – imaginary or otherwise – and then to solve them, in our opinion, intelligently. Those who don’t know how to get into trouble – get bored. Ofttimes, by chance.
Two schools of philosophy have always fascinated me: Falenicka and Otwocka. One says that there is nothing coincidental, and the other says that everything is a coincidence. Analysing the sequence of events, I’ve come to the conclusion that depending on the circumstances, I subscribe to both schools. And so, by chance or not, we had a meeting with Jakub M., a glaciologist, the principal character of an article in the magazine TUU. By chance or not, he persuaded us to go to Spitsbergen and by chance or not, we journeyed there. And so, the expedition to Spitsbergen changed both my life and my travels. The trip beyond the Arctic Circle was supposed to be the beginning of a concept - a compilation of real photos from the past within the real landscape of today. In reference to the changes in nature and civilisation sweeping throughout the world, but not only. Without being judgemental, using scare tactics or preaching about climate change and exaggerating the destructive influence of humans. The first trial with the frame: a try-out on Hel Peninsula after a wedding - and it worked. It came to life three months before the agreed delivery date. Spitsbergen was to be the beginning and the end. Instead it became, by chance or not, an inspiration. Excess luggage for each journey I take.
A long time ago I started writing the book "Art and the Philosophy of Time." It can be summarised in one sentence: There will come a time for everything. I haven't finished the book; apparently, the time has not yet come. But the time has come for something else. For excess luggage, for digging out photos from the archives. I’ve dug up and pulled out photos from my travels around the world. Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Qatar, Thailand, Indonesia, Croatia, Greece and Wiórek. I’ve chosen them, printed them, packed them and now I carry them in my backpack along with the frame. 100 x 140 cm. It might come in handy. I never know which photo to take on the road. I always act on impulse. It is the locations that choose the images, and I choose the locations, or the other way around. I don't understand why I choose a particular photo (by accident) hence the Otwocka school; and then it turns out that in the end I do understand, hence the Falenicka school. Also, there are people and situations. Behind each photo is a living person and a story which unfolds, or not, when the two worlds collide. The real world and the other world - also real, but in a different way (printed on canvas and stretched onto a frame). In the digital world of unlimited computer processing capabilities, you can generate everything, create places and situations that do not exist and never have. That's why I carry 20 kg of excess luggage. The physicality of the act is its essence. The process is the path. And on the path there is always freedom. Including a display just for us, the luggage carriers, beyond the frame.
Each photograph used during the journey stops being luggage, changes its destiny, takes on a new life. It creates a unique travel sack with a story in the background. Always just one. One shot, one sack. Luggage 🙂 (no excess)
I bring back new photos from my travels, and the "excess luggage," by chance or not, stays with me for a long time.
2.8 kg + (0.7 kg x X) = Y (100 x 140) + (100 x 140) = 3.5 kg / 7 min 2.8 kg = weight of the foldable aluminium frame (100 x 140 cm when folded) 0.7 kg = weight of the photo printed onto canvas (100 x 140 cm when stretched) x = number of photos Y = excess luggage (extra weight on each of my journeys) 7 minutes = time to unfold the frame and stretch the photo in favourable conditions. (In extreme conditions, the stretching of the canvas is prolonged anywhere from a dozen to several dozen minutes.)