plakat wystawy. Napisy i zdjęcie starego muru
Author: Jolanta Skwaradowska     Published At: 17.04.2024
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Disappearing walls – limestone. Exhibition by Janusz Lech Wojcieszak

Not only the limestone outposts growing along the Jurassic trails, but also the limestone structures became the hallmark of the Kraków-Częstochowa Jury. They can be found in photographs by Janusz Lech Wojcieszak. The opening of the exhibition “Disappearing walls – limestone” will take place on April 19th at the Centre for New Technologies of the Silesian University of Technology as part of the SUBLIME project summary.

The author;

Janusz Lech Wojcieszak a graduate of the Silesian University of Technology.

Artist photographer: in the seventies he cooperated with the editorial offices of “Przegląd Techniczny” and “Politechnika” magazines. Member of the Silesian District of the Association of Polish Artists Photographers (ZPAF) and the Association of Polish Nature Photographers. Artist of Fédération Internationale de l'Art Photographique (FIAP), awarded the prestigious title EFIAP – Excellence FIAP. Winner of many national and international photography competitions. Scholarship holder of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage.

na zdjęciu średniowieczna baszta murowana

The disappearing walls – limestone

Limestone is the stone that has accompanied civilization for millennia. It was in the karst caves of Altamira that our ancestors found a home and created the first works of art. It was also the building block of the most important and durable objects in the history of mankind – the pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, the Parthenon or in modern times – the Empire State building. This grateful, easy-to-process material became one of the basic building materials, was used not only in monumental architectural buildings, it was also used for the construction of cities, castles, bridges, but also simple houses, walls and other objects requiring durability.

After millennia of undivided rule, the stone gave way to concrete, which was admired by architects and constructors. The development of building materials has led to a departure from stone structures. White limestone walls today are a rarity, a reminder of the past undergoing the destructive action of time today.

The snow-like walls of castles, churches, but also tenement houses, houses, cemetery walls of the Krakow-Częstochowa Jury captivated the artist photographer – Janusz Lech Wojcieszak – who undertook an attempt to save them from oblivion. His artistic mission began a decade ago. Thanks to the support of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage, he was able to capture the disappearing world of stone walls on a classic photographic film using a large-format camera, which perfectly corresponds to the historic walls.

The artist, referring to the most important classical photographic projects of the Becher’s couple, although, despite the chosen technique, a very modern way – devoid of emotions and sentimentalism – documented several hundred historical objects, with different purposes, with different degrees of destruction and at different times of the day and year.

The creator himself says this about his impressive project:

I have already experienced the senseless destruction of industrial architecture in Upper Silesia, where the architecturally interesting objects of former industrial plants were demolished. Fortunately, photographs of these objects remain, as many photographers document reality. I have also played a small part in it.

The realization that the disappearance of objects in time and space cannot be stopped triggers in me the need for a documentary approach. I photograph disappearing walls, abandoned, neglected, without owners, deprived of funds for renovation and reconstruction, demolished for security reasons…

Looking at this monumental work of the photographer artist, which forces us to reflect on the passing, one can ask oneself whether these limestone constructions, despite their huge role in the history of humanity, will be forgotten?

The same question was asked by scientists from six leading European universities, who shared their admiration for the beauty and durability of structures using limestone.

In the European project SUBLIME, together with leading international organizations and key European companies of the lime industry, they undertook the task of laying the foundations for innovative biomimetic applications of limestone in modern masonry structures.

Chance intertwined the passions of the photographer artist and scientists – the presented exhibition is the result of this meeting, these passions. We wish, it would become also an important voice on the multidimensional protection of the historical building heritage.

Photo project realized as part of the scholarship of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage.

The SUBLIME project is implemented thanks to funds from the Horizon 2020 program of the European Commission.


Marcin Górski

Artist photographer, member of the Silesian District ZPAF, a professor of the Silesian University of Technology

Six universities participated in the SUBLIME research project: Silesian University of Technology (Poland), Universidade do Minho (Portugal), Universidad de Granada (Spain), Technische Universitat Darmstadt (Germany), Technische Universiteit Delft (Netherlands), Universiteit Gent (Belgium), as well as companies and industry organizations from Belgium, Spain, Germany, Denmark, and the United Kingdom.

The organizers of the exhibition are the Silesian University of Technology and the Science Popularization Centre of the Silesian University of Technology. The exhibition is held under the patronage of the Association of Polish Artists Photographers Silesian District.



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