Stefan Szczygieł. His photographic and film work

Warschau_Urban-Panorama_01
Documentary photos for the Urban Panorama installation in the “Centrum” underground railway station in Warsaw in front of the Palace of Culture and Science. Urban Panorama I, 2007/2008, 5oo x 18oo cm.

Szczygieł sees no problem in the fact that his Blow Ups also oscillate between the borders of commercial and artistic photography and superficially transcend them, despite the fact that this forces him to defend his works with art experts. His counterargument is typical for the generation which wrestled with the ideas of the French philosophers from the “École de Paris”. Indeed, directly after the Blow Ups, this led Szczygieł to start a new series of works that equally worked on the way we look at the subject: landscape. Here he talked about “post-modern romanticism” and quoted Jean Baudrillard’s differentiation between the “charm of the real” and the “magic of the concept”. His series of photos takes up Baudrillard’s homogenisation of signs – postulated equally on consumer goods and works of art in his left-wing orientated and Western Marxist early works – and puts them at our disposition particularly because, as far as the photographed objects are concerned, both systems overlap.

Urban Spaces

In 2005 Stefan Szczygieł began to change his thematic interests and moved out of his studio. His Urban Spaces project consists of large and medium-format photographs that correlate architecture and urban spaces, building complexes and arterial (i.e. communicating) roads. In contrast to other photographers from the Becher class in Düsseldorf (Thomas Ruff, Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, Candida Höfer, etc.), Szczygieł in no way portrays urban spaces, architecture buildings and external facades with documentary verve, but in a seemingly neutral, uninhabited and distanced way, that is always related to their everyday use (and wear and tear) by the people who live there; who cross the spaces and live and work within them.

This also differentiates his work from urban photos taken in the 19th and 20th century. True, Szczygieł knew of the famous documentary photographer, Eugène Atget (1857-1927), who captured the huge urban changes in his home city Paris around the turn of the 20th century, and the documentary work of Berenice Abbott (1898-1991) on the renewal of New York in the 1930s and 40s, but these only served him as a contrast to his own ideas of landscape photography. In comparison with other documentary photographers Stefan Szczygieł’s interests were mainly focused on cultural and sociological themes. He revealed the relationship between consumer and aesthetic values and the change in the circumstances of objects and spaces as a result of their use and wear and tear, before submitting his results for discussion.

 

Mediathek
  • Stefan Szczygieł

    Stefan Szczygieł

    Stefan Szczygieł, 2009 in Hamburg. Photo: Hinrich Franck
  • Coin

    Coin

    From the series “Blow Ups”, 2001-2005, “Coin” (5 cents), photogram, 200 x 200 cm.
  • Silberdose

    Silberdose

    From the series “Blow Ups”, 2001-2005, “Silver tin”, photogram, 200 x 260 cm.
  • Blatt

    Blatt

    From the series “Blow Ups”, 2001-2005, “Leaf” (Brooch), photogram, 350 x 200 cm.
  • Buch

    Buch

    From the series “Blow Ups”, 2001-2005, “Book” (Collection of legal regulations), photogram, 230 x 200 cm.
  • Latarka-Elekrodyn

    Latarka-Elekrodyn

    From the series “Blow Ups”, 2001-2005, “Elektrodyn”, photogram, 250 x 200 cm.
  • Feuerzeug

    Feuerzeug

    From the series “Blow Ups”, 2001-2005, “Cigarette lighter”, photogram, 200 x 300 cm.
  • Guzik

    Guzik

    From the series “Blow Ups”, 2001-2005, “Guzik”, photogram, 200 x 200 cm.
  • Telefon

    Telefon

    From the series “Blow Ups”, 2001-2005, “Telephone”, photogram, 200 x 260 cm
  • Taschenuhr

    Taschenuhr

    From the series “Blow Ups”, 2001-2005, “Pocket watch” (opened), photogram, 250 x 200 cm.
  • Zorki

    Zorki

    From the series “Blow Ups”, 2001-2005, “Zorki”, photogram, 200 x 300 cm.
  • Warschau, Brücke

    Warschau, Brücke

    From the series “Urban Spaces”, 2005-2009, “Warsaw, Bridge”, Inkjet photo print, 60 x 170 cm (Edition: 10).
  • Warschau, Hala Mirowska

    Warschau, Hala Mirowska

    From the series “Urban Spaces”, 2005-2009, “Warsaw, Hala Mirowska”, Inkjet photo print, 60 x 170 cm (Edition: 10).
  • Warschau, Złote Tarasy

    Warschau, Złote Tarasy

    From the series “Urban Spaces”, 2005-2009, “Warsaw, Zlote Tarasy”, Inkjet photo print, 80 x 170 cm (Edition: 10).
  • Warschau, Klostermauer

    Warschau, Klostermauer

    From the series “Urban Spaces”, 2005-2009, “Warsaw, cloister wall” (Powisle), Inkjet photo print, 60 x 144 cm (Edition: 10).
  • Warschau, Stadion

    Warschau, Stadion

    From the series “Urban Spaces”, 2005-2009, “Warsaw, stadium”, Inkjet photo print, 60 x 200 cm.
  • Warschau, Dach

    Warschau, Dach

    From the series “Urban Spaces”, 2005-2009, “Warsaw, roof”, Inkjet photo print, 110 x 100 cm.
  • Warschau, Saski Park

    Warschau, Saski Park

    From the series “Urban Spaces”, 2005-2009, “Warsaw, Saski Park”, Inkjet photo print, 60 x 170 cm (Edition: 10).
  • Warschau, Ursynów

    Warschau, Ursynów

    From the series “Urban Spaces”, 2005-2009, “Warsaw, Ursynòw”, Inkjet photo print, 108 x 60 cm (Edition: 10).
  • Warschau, Park

    Warschau, Park

    From the series “Urban Spaces”, 2005-2009, “Warsaw, Saski Park”, Inkjet photo print, 60 x 170 cm (Edition: 10).
  • Warschau, Łazienkowska

    Warschau, Łazienkowska

    From the series “Urban Spaces”, 2005-2009, “Warsaw, Łazienkowska”, Inkjet photo print, 60 x 170 cm.
  • Warschau, Przystanek tramwajowy

    Warschau, Przystanek tramwajowy

    From the series “Urban Spaces”, 2005-2009, “Warsaw, Przystanek tramwajowy”, Inkjet photo print, 100 x 240 cm.
  • Köln, Hohenzollernbrücke

    Köln, Hohenzollernbrücke

    From the series “Urban Spaces”, 2005-2009, “Cologne, Hohenzollern bridge”, Inkjet photo print, 85 x 240 cm.
  • Köln, Hauptbahnhof

    Köln, Hauptbahnhof

    From the series “Urban Spaces”, 2005-2009, “Cologne, Central Station”, Inkjet photo print, 100 x 230 cm.
  • Köln, Museum Ludwig

    Köln, Museum Ludwig

    From the series “Urban Spaces”, 2005-2009, “Cologne, Ludwig Museum”, Inkjet photo print, 150 x 240 cm.
  • Paris, Notre Dame

    Paris, Notre Dame

    From the series “Urban Spaces” 2005-2009, “Paris, Notre Dame”, Inkjet photo print, 95 x 240 cm.
  • Paris, Louvre

    Paris, Louvre

    From the series “Urban Spaces”, 2005-2009, “Paris, Louvre”, Inkjet photo print, 95 x 240 cm.
  • Paris, Seine-Ufer

    Paris, Seine-Ufer

    From the series “Urban Spaces”, 2005-2009, “Paris, Bank of the Seine”, Inkjet photo print, 80 x 240 cm.
  • Warschau, Urban Panorama I

    Warschau, Urban Panorama I

    Documentary photos for the Urban Panorama installation in the “Centrum” underground railway station in Warsaw in front of the Palace of Culture and Science. Urban Panorama I, 2007/2008, 5oo x 18oo cm.
  • Warschau, Urban Panorama II

    Warschau, Urban Panorama II

    Documentary photos for the Urban Panorama installation in the “Centrum” underground railway station in Warsaw in front of the Palace of Culture and Science. Urban Panorama II, 2007/2008, 5oo x 18oo cm...
  • Domek 08

    Domek 08

    From the series “Domek”, 2007-2009, “Domek 08”, Inkjet photo print, 60 x 90 cm (Edition: 5+3 artist’s prints)
  • Domek 09

    Domek 09

    From the series “Domek”, 2007-2009, “Domek 09”, Inkjet photo print, 60 x 90 cm (Edition: 5+3 artist’s prints).
  • Domek 10

    Domek 10

    From the series “Domek” “, 2007-2009, “Domek 10”, Inkjet photo print, 60 x 90 cm (Edition: 5+3 artist’s prints).
  • Domek 23

    Domek 23

    From the series “Domek”, 2007-2009, “Domek 23”, Inkjet photo print, 60 x 90 cm (Edition: 5+3 artist’s prints).
  • ZEITFLUG - Hamburg

    © all films: Stefan Szczygieł. Courtesy: Claus Friede*Contemporary Art, Hamburg.
  • ZEITFLUG - Warschau

    © all films: Stefan Szczygieł. Courtesy: Claus Friede*Contemporary Art, Hamburg.