A publication which is itself a work of art: the art photo book Alltagsfantasie by Joanna Szproch – available in the online shop of André Frère Éditions – is an ode to sexual autonomy and celebrates female sensuality. A courageous debut work that focuses on the pursuit of self-empowerment and the questioning of patriarchal structures. The pre-premiere was recently at the international photo festival Les Rencontres d’Arles in France.
In a lengthy creative process that started in 2010 and lasted until 2021, Joanna Szproch created more than just a remarkable excerpt from her biography. Alltagsfantasie is a multi-layered self-portrait. PATRYCJA, a young model, takes on the role of the artist’s alter ego. Temporal levels condense into an ultra-personal staging of everyday fantasy moments, a collage of past and present, fragments of dreams and memories. The book that emerged from this complex process refers both to one’s own self and to that which arises in the context of social and cultural imprints.
“I penetrate with curiosity my infinite Alltagsfantasie that resonates with my true self. This allows me to live authentically despite illusionary appearances. Life is a miraculous mystery.“ – Joanna Szproch
It is possible to be a muse, model and creator at the same time. And yet we fail because of the impossibility of looking at oneself objectively. It is precisely in these in-between worlds of ‘female’ and ‘male gaze’, the boundaries between the self and the outside, that Szproch explores her Alltagsfantasie. Here she defies draconian society norms and indulges her needs and desires without compromise.
“Everything (Polish) women do is subject to constant public scrutiny. We are denied the right to pleasure and joy. This I intuitively refuse, but also I repel a female martyrdom that weakens me.” – Joanna Szproch
In 2012 Joanna Szproch left Poland. In Berlin she wanted to escape the misogynist, conservative corset of her strictly Catholic homeland, to be free. But six years after the social outcry of #metoo, anti-feminists are still claiming that rape is not a crime against women, but against property. Szproch fights the dysfunctional system of patriarchy – a fight which still has to be fought in society and in everyday life in order to bring about change.
“Some people say I have my head in the clouds. For me, it’s all true. Live your fantasy and do not let illusions trick you.” – Joanna Szproch
Alltagsfantasie is an illustrated photo-text performance in which the artist invites us to reconsider notions of identity, gender roles and self-portrayal. It sharpens our view of the individual and societal search for self-empowerment and opens up space for a critical examination of existing power structures and norms.
Joanna Szproch : Alltagsfantasie
With an art historical essay by Agata Ciastoń
Design by Nora Cristea
André Frère Éditions
Open-spine, silkscreened jacket
24 x 32 cm