Of diluted ink and torn paper
From the dawn of the printing press until the 21st century, printed matter —whether in the form of books, posters, lithographs, leaflets, etc.— has continued to leave its mark on the way we think about the world, how we describe it. Vehicle of our knowledge, object of transmission, print has marked our individual and collective memory and our imaginations since its creation.
In the public space, posters hold a central place. Tools of advertising, propaganda, communication, information, they are now slowly disappearing.
In light of the supremacy of digital technology in our societies and its display medium, the screen, posters are increasingly replaced by moving images, without materiality. They are thus gradually leaving the physical world to enter the world of calculation: the nature of the poster is evolving, it is now nothing more than an ultimate tool for controlling the number of passers-by, their attitudes, the number of times they will look—or not—at the moving image. To pay homage to this world of print in evanescence, Kasia Wandycz wanted to keep its last traces. For several years, she has been photographing fragments of posters torn or mistreated by wind, rain or human intervention. During her strolls in different cities such as Paris, New York, Warsaw, she lingers on a chromatic detail, on a form, on a composition that catches her eye. Without appropriating the poster in its entirety as Jacques Villeglé did, she retains only a fragment of it in the photographic image. This in turn becomes a work of art in its own right through a framing chosen and assumed by the photographer.
A trace of reality, the image produced, if it remains an appropriation, thus enters the imaginary world. Without retouching, without recomposition, the poster or rather the superimposed and damaged posters are transformed, by the grace of a new frame in their material, into a new work, abstract, poetic, political, in either pastel or bright colors.
Pop art, urban art, pictorial art? Kasia Wandycz’s work is at the crossroads of all these art forms. As the image is produced by a camera, the resulting work creates new opportunities, allowing us to give free rein to our interpretation.
The book will be prefaced by Olivier Deloignon, Professor of visual history at the Haute École des Arts du Rhin and researcher and lecturer at the University of Strasbourg. Professor Deloignon is also the director of the laboratory of Lines and Spirit, Forms, Functions and the History of Illustrated Print as well as an independent curator and editorial graphic designer. His research concerns the history of typography, the book and its practices, engraving, book illustration, printed propaganda in modern and contemporary times.
Extract from the foreword by Olivier Deloignon:
« The camera lens reveals fantastical and colorful images to the beholder, far removed from the soothing accessibility of traditional advertising iconography. Posters are not only seductive transmitters of an irrepressible inclination to possess, they are a reminder of the open air museum of our cold passions and our soft raptures. Through Kasia Wandycz’s vision, this maelstrom of passions (hatred, temptations, realized or thwarted desires and downright greed) is transformed into shreds, welts, flashes, becoming by its very substance, an object of desire. Kasia’s PAPIER is work that reveals the eros of the placard, whose inherent transience results in a singular modern beauty when deconstructed, subjected to the hazards of time and decay, slashed, scarred, disfigured, desecrated, peeled off, and finally photographed. PAPIER reveals the beauty of the dead. »