Tate that! 'Striking and intimate', photographer's black and whites exhibited at London's prestigious TATE gallery
A new exhibition at Tate Britain in London showcases works by Polish photographer Joanna Piotrowska.
Entitled “All our false devices”, the installation features a selection of black and white photographs and 16 mm that are both striking and intimate.
Born in Warsaw in 1985, Piotrowska studied photography at the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków and then at the Royal College of Art in London.
Based in London, she has made a name for herself with her black and white photographs shot in close-up family environments that make a broader statement about the world we live in.
Her work focuses on families, homes and man-made spaces in their broader political, economic, social and cultural context, including the tensions and power dynamics within them.
One series began with Piotrowska asking people to create makeshift shelters in their houses and gardens.
The idea was to subvert childhood play – the tents and forts that children spend hours building and camping out in. The project spanned homes in Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro, Warsaw and London.
In other works, Piotrowska presented movements from self-defence manuals, alluding to women’s empowerment in contemporary society, but also the continued violence against them.
“Her photographs and films relate to self-protection, psychophysical relationships and the power dynamics underlying how we relate to each other,” Tate explains on its website.
Piotrowska’s work has previously featured in Being: New Photography 2018 at MoMA in New York and at the 10th Biennale Berlin in 2018. A solo show is set to open in Basel’s Kunsthalle this autumn.
In addition to exhibitions, she has also published two books: Frowst, which was published by Mack in 2014 and continues her theme of family relationships, and Frantic, published by Humboldt Books in 2017, which brings together her photos of shelters.
The exhibition at Tate Britain, which opened on 8 March and runs until 9 June, is curated by Sofia Karamani and Zuzana Flaskova.
It is part of the Art Now series of free exhibitions at Tate Britain. Since the mid-1990s, it has presented work by emerging artists who have gone on to become important figures on the art scene in Britain and beyond.