"Rites of Passage" by Przemyslaw Pokrycki
For three years, Warsaw-based photographer Przemyslaw Pokrycki has been traversing his country, stopping at one family gathering after another. By now he has photographed about 80 festivities: baptisms, first communions, weddings and funerals. Some take place in old-fashioned, simple community halls where they wash down their cream tarts with Pepsi-Cola served in paper cups; other are held in ostentatious halls with stucco ceilings and covered upholstery. This is a journey to the heart of Poland.
Pokrycki's images show family members carrying out traditional rituals. "The whole environment reveals something about people's social background. Even if I wore my best Armani suit, my surrounding would betray my origins", say Przemyslaw Pokrycki, describing his work. In keeping with a tradition of Polish photography, he is creating a sociological archive of society, much as Polish photographer Zofia Rydet did until 1991.
Pokrycki explains his interest in his own country: "My photos are my way of describing the world around me. It's a reality I know well, but sometimes it surprises me, too. I don't seek to document extreme situations in my photography, like war, hunger or catastrophes. For me, the most exciting subject is society itself - especially given the changing conditions of daily life since the political changes of 1989."
Przemyslaw Pokrycki was born in 1974 in Poland; he lives near Wassaw and works as a free-lance photographer for several Polish magazines. He studied photography at the film academy in Lodz. in 2007 and 2008 "Rites of Passage" was shown during Photomonth in Krakow, in 2007 Pokrycki also took part in a group show in Houston, Texas. His representative in Poland is the ZPAF i S-ka Gallery in Krakow. The exhibition is actually shown in V8 Gallery in Cologne/Germany.