Zofia Rydet. Record, 1978–1990
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
25 September 2015 - 10 January 2016
Zofia Rydet. Record, 1978–1990 offers the largest presentation thus exhibited of Zofia Rydet’s monumental photographic project Sociological Record. The artist began the development of the cycle in 1978 and continued almost until her death in 1997.
Rydet began working on the cycle at an advanced age (when she was sixty-seven years old) as an established artist with a considerable exhibition portfolio. At the same time she occupied a separate position in the Polish photographic milieu, dominated at the time by male photographers and conceptual tendencies.
Sociological Record comprises around 20,000 photographs from more than one hundred villages and towns located mainly in the Polish regions of Podhale, Upper Silesia and the Suwałki area. The hosts of the houses that Rydet visited – photographed with a wide-angle lens and usually with strong flash that brutally brings out the details of the interiors – are portrayed against a wall, looking straight into the camera lens. Rydet repeated the same scheme for nearly three decades.
The idea of Sociological Record emerged during Rydet’s accidental visit to a car manufacturing plant in Jelcz. She was fascinated by the view of identical, small working spaces that the employees decorated with such items as cut-outs from newspapers, photographs of their families, religious images, erotic posters and landscapes. Convinced that objects and images gathered in private spaces defined people and “revealed their psychology,” Rydet decided to pursue the mission of documenting the interiors of Polish houses. The artist was interested in the ties that connected people with objects and architecture, as well as the way individual aesthetic preferences, political and religious views manifested themselves through the arrangement of private space. “The house … is a reflection of the society, civilisation, and culture, from which it originates, there are no two similar people or two similar houses,” Rydet used to say.
Organizers: Foundation for Visual Arts, Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw
Curators: Sebastian Cichocki, Karol Hordziej
Exhibition design: Marcin Kwietowicz Graphic design: Pilar Rojo Production: Katarzyna Karwańska, Tomasz Gutkowski Research co-operation: Maria Sokół-Augustyńska, Zofia Augustyńska-Martyniak (Zofia Rydet Foundation)
Subsidized by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Poland.