By Stach Szabłowski
Hell’s around the corner, rasps Tricky. Heaven is a place on earth Belinda Carlisle sings back. Songs do not lie. Apocalypse is happening here and now; heaven and hell are inherent in the text of our everyday purgatory. Of course, one must read between the lines of that text. That’s what Agnieszka Brzeżańska does; her series of photographs catch reality out in moments when it reveals its bizarre qualities. To notice those moments, it’s necessary to have your eyes wide open – the widest open one should be the third eye of the camera.
A pig-snouted tram hurtling down the middle of a street; a white lady and a black, headless bridegroom, a burnt rubbish bin all covered with a half-melted blue plastic bag as if with a veil, a tree swallowing a metal fence, a trace of blood, a gaping hole in the ground, knocked out dwarfs lying face down in a metal cage; a man buried up to his neck in the ground, screaming in the middle of a city by night. It all truly happened – Agnieszka just pressed the shutter release button.
Ghost in the shell. Cybernetics experts suppose that in extremely complex electronic systems an unexpected, random element may appear - a side effect of the accumulation of processes and data – and take on the form of consciousness, a spirit in the machine. Does such a Spirit appear of its own accord in the system called reality? Agnieszka Brzeżańska observes the uncontrolled phenomena appearing on the fringes of the system. In the contemporary landscape the works of man overlap with the works of nature; artificial things are mixed up with real ones, advertising pictures collide with real space, every scrap of reality is commented upon by its copies, omnipresent texts, messages and information. Add to that the spontaneous entropy of the physical world, the processes of wear, decomposition and forgetting, which deform all structures and cause things to start communicating something quite different from what they were originally meant to communicate.
From chaos, meanings emerge which no one has ever articulated they have articulated themselves. Agnieszka Brzeżańska photographs moments of this spontaneous articulation of a world where there is no boundary between real and unreal, natural and artificial, random and planned, and all the orders of existence meet on one level/ plane.
Agnieszka’s photos present little revelations of miraculousness? wonderfulness as well as moments when reality suddenly shows its diabolical face. Behold the cracks in the banal shell of everyday, through which the anarchic multitude of parallel meanings leaks out, the total, terrifying
freedom to people and animals.