History Meeting House

szukaj  rss

Exhibition calendar
Journeying with feet planted firmly on the ground. Aleksander Jałosiński’s 50 years of press photography25.01.2012 - 10.06.2012

Aleksander Jałosiński was born in 1931. He is one of the foremost Polish press photographers and winner of many prestigious awards. He worked in conjunction with, amongst others, publications such as ‘Express Wieczorny’, ‘Sztandar Młodych’, the monthly ‘Kultura’, ‘Szpilki’, ‘Polityka’, ‘Rzeczpospolita’, and the FORUM Polish Photographic Agency. Although a vast amount of his photographic work was commissioned material, Jałosiński always strove to express himself in an individual manner. The works of Aleksander Jałosiński are far more than just excellent press photographs. Indeed, they are more akin to a photographic essay. The author manages to condense into a single photograph a wealth of meanings, containing both realism and a personal commentary. Working as a press photographer from 1957, Aleksander Jałosiński built up a collection of photographs which reveal a multi-faceted picture of the Polish People’s Republic – from the provinces through to large cities, from portraits of ‘ordinary’ people to those of celebrated personalities. Join us in a journey through successive decades of the People’s Republic as seen through the eyes of Aleksander Jałosiński.

Photograph: The construction of the ‘Bogdanka’ Mine, the Lublin Coal Basin, 1978. Photo: Aleksander Jałosiński/Agencja FORUM

Selected photographs from the exhibition "Journeying with feet planted firmly on the ground"

	Aleksander Jałosiński: "I was with the local Party Secretary in connection with photographs at one of the factories, when a report arrived that the border had been breached. Some fifteen minutes later we were on the spot. Poland was ringed with a belt of ploughed land, which was harrowed twice a day. The slightest disturbance was evidence that the border had been breached. Someone had noticed impressions of a bare foot. I could see the Czech and Polish border guards and a group of women from a nearby village. Each woman had to measure her bare foot against the impressions in the ground. It turned out, however, that a cow had crossed the border and one of the women had simply gone to retrieve it." Marklowice, Śląsk Cieszyński, 1958. Photo: Agencja FORUM
	Aleksander Jałosiński: "Romany caravans were encamped in Wilanów. At the time, I was so young and inexperienced, that I failed to take any photographs of their painted wagons.  It was children who fascinated me. Whether they were clean, and how they were dressed, was a reflection on their community. Wherever I went, I always first photographed the children".
	Warsaw, 1959. Photo: Agencja FORUM
	Chorzów, 1964
	“I work when I’m free.”
	Aleksander Jałosiński: “It took 20 years to publish this photograph of a wooden, single-storeyed building, which housed a hairdresser’s. The notice in the window reads ‘The salon is open when I am free’. Twenty years later, the renowned sociologist, Prof.  Jan Szczepański, wrote an essay for the weekly publication ‘Kultura’ about the working ethos in the Polish People’s Republic. I had to supply a photograph. Having visited so many factories, my archives were bursting at the seams with relevant material but I immediately pounced on this one. The Professor jumped for joy. His article stressed that, for someone to treat his job seriously and to carry it out honestly, he must first feel that he is free. 
	I went back to Raków in 1997. The building was no longer there. But I learnt how the sign had come about. The Kielce Province is full of small towns which held a weekly market; so every day the market was in a different place. The hairdresser was also a trader and he would do a round of all the markets (as did other inhabitants). There was no market on a Saturday, so he was free. And then he could provide his hairdressing and barbering services to the entire town.” Raków in the Kielce Province, 1966.
	Photo: Agencja FORUM
	Aleksander Jałosiński: “The photograph was intended to illustrate a text relating to the new agricultural policy of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers’ Party but the censors removed the article.  The photograph had been planned to take up the entire front page of ‘Kultura’ and it was too late to withdraw it. Besides, the censors had only seen the photographs submitted by CAF (the Central Photographic Agency) and did not see the works of the editorial press photographers. They used ‘roughs’ to censor the texts, and these had only columns of print with blacked out areas where photographs would be inserted following approval of the textual matter. And thus this photograph came to illustrate an article by Waldemar Łysiak about the language of architecture.” Dwernik in the Bieszczady Mountains, 1971. Photo: Agencja FORUM
	“In the 1950s, the ‘Sheriff” worked in a mine in Śląsk.  He was the sole survivor of a cave-in. He recounted how, in order to secure the mine, the corridors were sealed and his colleagues buried alive. He then fled to the Bieszczady Mountains where he went from settlement to settlement, helping out, and doing odd jobs. At the time of his death he was a harbourman.  He bore the nickname ‘Sheriff’ on account of his sheriff’s hat with its star.”  Dwernik in the Bieszczady Mountains, 1971. Photo: Agencja FORUM
Designed by: Kotbury
About us | News | Exhibitions | Media | Education | Bookshop | Contact