MALGORZATA STANKIEWICZ - CRY OF AN ECHO / LASSEN
For centuries, and against all odds, Poland’s Bialowieza Forest withstood the destructive human behavior within its grounds. In 2016, under the pretense of its protection, the late Polish Environment Minister Jan Szyszko approved unlawful, large-scale logging in the forest’s unprotected area. cry of an echo, commenced shortly after this announcement, was created during a month-long stay in the forest, Spring 2016. Through an experimental approach to black and white analog printing, the works convey an anticipation of an irrecoverable loss.
Comprised of unique, large-scale c-print composites, Lassen is a topographic and polychromatic exploration of natural landscape; it is an experimental investigation of the analogue chromogenic process as a contemplation of environmental collapse.
The enlargements, which were hand-printed in sections, are a result of countless hours spent in pitch blackness of the colour darkroom, through a process at once familiar yet ultimately uncertain. Embracing the flaws stemming from this unstable process, multiple layers of physical and chemical manipulations are all compressed and flattened into one, the final image.
With the intent to highlight the interconnectedness and interdependence between all of Earth’s ecosystems, each of the works references, through its title, a specific concern stemming from the current environmental crisis. In that sense Lassen is a journey through both factual and fictional place; a metaphorical portrait of nature in the Anthropocene era.
Born in Poland, Małgorzata Stankiewicz is an artist and environmentalist currently living and working in Zurich, Switzerland. Working within the analogue realm of photography, she continuously strives to explore the limits of the medium by experimenting with light sensitive materials and chemical processes. Given her deep affinity and increasing concern for the natural world, in the recent years her work shifted towards topics dealing with the human-imposed, impending degradation of the environment.