HUECKEL Magda

Pologne / Sélection du jury / 2014

" ANIMA. Images From Africa "

The cycle is a personal story about a journey. The images, which make up a cycle, show reality from the perspective of a Traveler, who, by penetrating the strange and incomprehensible world of Africa, tries to uncover universal truths about life, death, rebirth and transformation.

The attempt to enter the invisible dimension of spirituality and immortality occurs through an exploration of images of emptiness and abandoned, neglected and ruined sites interwoven with shots of organic structures, decaying animal matter and objects of a sacred nature. “This documentation of decay and death is also an exploration of magical practices in which death is inseparably intertwined with life (…) Death is not any end, nor a breach, it is natural element of life. It’s just that life here is not regarded as something assigned to individuals, but as Zoe – an impersonal or rather inhuman force.”- wrote Izabela Kowalczyk.

Although the series is the result of the author’s fascination with original beliefs, spirituality, rituals, and worship of nature, it does not have an ethnographic aspect. The places captured in the images cannot be specifically identified, which serves to emphasize the superiority of ideas over reality, because, as noted by Wojciech Nowicki “[…]in the Anima series, photography is something else still, a material, a building block, clay, a medium borrowed for purposes going beyond documentation. The authoress, quite offhandedly, departs from the natural sequence of events, opting for her own sequence instead – because Anima is a photography-based architecture of a memory, a memory of events that had never been. The images are like blocks. In the hands of the artist (narrator) the assembly kit may yield a castle, a road, a person or a soul. Anima encourages, compels one to seek, but does not promise that the path will be a straightforward one. And, as it happens with mature images, there are more possibilities here than one would given that chance. “