"This question reminds me of questions I am often asking myself;
What is more important in Art: form or theme? "
"Looking for some kind of truth in completely artificial spaces, is a goal.
Building a narrative is a result, even if sometimes the way leading to
it seems completely reversed."
Roza Janiszewska's last collection of photographs and sculpture is haunting to say the least. I've studied these photographs attempting to construct a story of devastated lovers, an airline pilot dealing with death, or possibly a recluse hiding in the Amazonian forest in search of her truth. Maybe a story is not the point, perhaps it's an emotional truth that is the destination.
Roza Janiszewska's meticulously constructed and photographed interiors excite me. Her photographs are powerful in the same way a film awakens the senses. She states,
"looking for some kind of truth in completely artificial spaces, is a goal." I love this idea of "artificial spaces." Film is an artificial space, but it can feel so real, just as our homes or apartments. Is what we furnish our homes artificial or real?
Barsoi 2009 makes me think of the unforgettable film, "Children of Men." A film so powerful in its visual style, that I can still feel the interiors that the characters endlessly ran through. London at the end of the world. Total Devastation.
And in this film, there were places of refuge from the panic and the terror. These photographs remind me of that feeling.
Of a safe place, of the future, and of a story yet to unfold.
Spaces do hold truth.
Thank you Roza for this interview....
Did you construct these sets,and how large are they? Yes, all the photographs of interiors are taken of models that I constructed myself, and from the floor to the ceiling, approximately 23cm.
What is the process of your work? The process is as follows: First I construct an interior, sometimes utilizing found materials, but never with an overall design plan. During the building process, narratives start to emerge and as a result the process of construction is defined and vice versa. Sometimes I have a narrative or simply a character in mind, and I attempt to represent it/them through the interior.
While I am still constructing, I begin to take photographs of the model, which allows me to see the interior with a little distance and decide in what direction to continue construction. I have never exhibited the models, only the photographs. It was through my fascination with film sets; the fact that we never see them ‘for real’ but only through film or photography, that I became inspired to work in this way. The fact that they are more like film stills emphasizes the impression of a short moment captured by the camera, that remains a small moment in a longer narrative. In my more recent work which I exhibited as a part of Barsoi 2009, I moved away from this more linear approach, favoring a kaleidoscopic, journalistic slant.
Do you prefer to fabricate these worlds rather than finding locations? It’s true that I have always worked with that which I have invented myself, not based on or inspired by real interiors or spaces. Perhaps this is due to the need to retain control over everything. It is never a question of scale, if I had the opportunity I might also build on a 1:1 scale….
What are the stories you are attracted to? I am attracted to narratives that draw on the psychological relationship between individuals and their environment; what happens to a person when they are left alone with themselves, with only their thoughts for company within a specific interior, and how that space begins to work on them.
Authors or others that inspire you? I am inspired above all else by people, and how they behave. Beyond books and films, I always look within myself….I am very inspiring to myself!
Do you work with more literal stories in your work, or a mood, an abstract thought? This question reminds me of questions I am often asking myself; what is more important in Art, form or theme? In my opinion it’s important to keep a balance between the two. With regard to mood, and abstract thought in relation to narrative, I try to disrupt this balance and try to emphasise either one or the other, but even so, in the end there always remains a certain balance.
Can you talk about the moving sculpture? The sculpture played an important role in the exhibition Barsoi. It was created with a specific aim. This sculpture is a mocker, or a scoffer. It functioned as the necessary disruptive element in a carefully built atmosphere.
I'm attracted to the interiors that you have created for this collection of photographs. do you have a love for interiors? I'm particularly drawn towards that red chair, and the cork wall. I don’t feel a love for interiors, but a huge respect and I acknowledge their power.
More upcoming projects? My point of departure is shifting to incorporate the introduction of a second person and how that changes the original relationship between individual and interior. I have been developing this with another artist, Ola Bielas, through the media of video which I will show in Frankfurt in August. Additionally I have experimented with exiting the closed interiors of the constructed model, building sculpture – props which I will be exhibiting in July as a part of East goes East Biennial in Norwich, England.
Thank you Roza....