On the occasion of the Łódź Photo Festival in Poland, the portfolio reviews revealed the little-known scene of young Polish photography. Among them, the photographer Bart Krezolek who explores the strange and unreal atmospheres of our lost paradises.
The project takes place in Krakow, the photographer’s hometown. Only three kilometers from the market square, Bart Krezolek discovers an abandoned area in the middle of the city, former allotment gardens abandoned following the sale of the land to real estate developers. This green enclave sheltered diﬀerent plant species and some wild animals. It was seen by locals as the “gardens of paradise”. During the three years while the abandonment lasted, some daring gardeners tryed to take back possession of the place and bring it back to life by building strange structures.
In his own way, Bart Krezolek also tried to appropriate this natural setting, doomed to disappear. For several months, he went there at nightfall and photographed with flash every corner, fascinated by the way in which nature reclaims its rights. In this abandoned garden strewn with rubbish, the ugly mingled with the beautiful, creating paintings of disturbing beauty. Like this athletic shoe covered in electric green moss or this trio of dead trees immortalized in front of a twilight sky of blazing purple.
“I photographed this area as a kind of visual representation of what a post-human landscape can look like,” Bart Krezolek recounts. A theme dear to the photographer who likes to imagine in his photographs what the world of tomorrow could look like if we don’t take care of it. An ecological reflection carried by a sharp and tender gaze.
Coline Olsina is a photography historian and journalist.