Edition 2023

Zofia Kulik


“I feel that a great value of my work is the fact that I’m a talented organizer of compound visual structures. My whole work is based on the fact that I permanently collect and archive the images of this world,” comments Zofia Kulik on her complex, multilayered, extremely detailed photographic compositions. Thousands of motifs–models in symbolic poses, flowers, vegetables, leaves, skulls, bones, dead animals, male nudes, found objects, decorative objects, flags or draperies, taken mostly in her studio–compose her alphabet.With that, she organizes visual stories, resembling carpets, stained glasses or other forms of bibliae pauperum, all in black and white. The works unroll stories of totalitarian political regimes, death, domination, the power games of the church or more broadly of patriarchal culture, but also the relationship between man and woman, the individual and the mass.
These large photomontages are realized with the artist’s own technique, very meticulous, in her darkroom. They are multiple exposures of dozens of single negatives, directly on photographic paper, through precisely cut masks. This first monographic presentation of Zofia Kulik in France shows the universe of symbols and images created by the artist. But it also reveals the details of her unique technical approach and traces the beginnings of her fascination for the transformed photographic image which still dates from the time of her studies, at the end of the 1960s.
Some masterpieces, like her self-portraits inspired by Victorian paintings or the monumental photographic panel Favorite Balance, are the best introduction to this rich world full of cultural references–from antique culture, through medieval imagery to contemporary strategies of historical politics.

Karolina Ziebinska-Lewandowska

Curator: Karolina Ziebinska-Lewandowska.

With the collaboration of Persons Projects, Berlin, and Kulik-KwieKulik Foundation, Warsaw.

  • Institutional partners

    • République Française
    • Région Provence Alpes Côté d'Azur
    • Département des Bouches du Rhône
    • Arles
    • Le Centre des monuments nationaux est heureux de soutenir les Rencontres de la Photographie d’Arles en accueillant des expositions dans l’abbaye de Montmajour
  • Main partners

    • Fondation LUMA
    • BMW
    • SNCF
    • Kering
  • Media partners

    • Arte
    • Lci
    • Konbini
    • Le Point
    • Madame Figaro
    • France Culture