Piotr Zbierski first gained international attention in 2012, when he won the Leica Oskar Barnack Newcomer Award for his series Pass by me. Since then he has consistently continued on his path, which has now culminated in his first extensive photo book – made all the more profound by the fact that it is the result of a nine-year creative process.
Many of the themes found in the artist’s winning works of 2012 are also present in the first of the book’s three parts, alluding to the project’s early beginnings. Each series is an autarchic expression of a period of the author’s artistic development, even if the times when they were created overlap. The triptych encompasses the earlier series Dream of white elephants and Love has to be reinvented along with the photographer’s most recent project, Stones were lost from the base. The three series are divided by two smaller-sized insert booklets, whose ambiguity further expands the volume’s associative complexity. It also includes three removable black folders, which allow the book to be variably structured. These additional pages contain the author’s most personal annotations.
Zbierski views his work as a journey to the primordial origins of our traditions, symbols and cultural codes. In this pursuit, it is of no consequence whether a specific picture was taken in some small Eastern European village, in India or in his homeland of Poland. The artist is on a quest for the essence and the shared commonalities of human emotions, with a particular fascination for incidental experiences. Fleeting encounters are given permanence in the photographer’s deeply evocative images, transforming them into the genuine artefacts of a journey of emotional discovery. Despite its supposedly linear nature, the book as a publication medium seems to be a highly suitable platform to take the viewer on this remarkable journey. Ulrich Rüter
Push the sky away
238 pages plus 2 sixteen-page insert booklets
156 colour and duotone plates
21.0 cm x 28.0 cm, English
Includes a poem written by Patti Smith and an essay by Eleonora Jedlinska
Dewi Lewis Publishing
French language edition: Andre Frere Editions.
Polish language edition: Wydawnictwo Biblioteki PWSFTviT.