„The Four Seasons” is the title of both the exhibition and the latest album by the author. The photos have been taken in the Lublin region, where the artist has been living, on and off, for the last few years. The several years which I have spent down under – says the photographer – were, on one hand, a wonderful experience of opening up to another culture, but on another hand, have awoken nostalgia for the places of my youth, and not only for them. The Australian climate deprives those arriving from Eastern Europe of the clearly defined rhythm of life, imposed by the clearly defined four seasons of the year. The photographs present Polish landscapes, immortalized during different seasons.
Many of those images are reminiscent of paintings, such as those by Gierymski or Falat. The painterly illusion encompasses also the preparation of the works and the manner for their presentation – there is no glass separating us from the photos, we even get the impression that the paint has only just dried. Sikora engages in dialogue with painting using sophisticated photographic measures, moving away from documentary photography. Most images do not show people or their homes, there is no trace of urban civilization. We do perceive human existence in those photos, through very subtle hints: the geometric layout of fields, the presence of the road, a pathway worn in grass. The temperature of light and the colors change from one minute to another, and Sikora’s series shows their whole palette. They become looped in series, as they do each year, and – what is surprising – they are difficult to recognize.
There is a meme circulating the Internet, mocking our knowledge of the world. It juxtaposes five images of leaves with five logos of large international companies. We do not have a problem identifying the Nike or McDonald’s logo, but when it comes to telling a maple leaf from a linden one, this could prove difficult. The case is similar with Sikora’s latest series. We are no longer able to tell whether the view of the edge of the forest is taken on an autumn morning, or a winter afternoon. Thanks to the photos of Tomek Sikora, we can try to sensitize ourselves again to those small differences in the light and temperature, and to calmly look at the cyclical metamorphoses of nature.
The exhibition accompanies the premiere of the album: Tomek Sikora, “The Four Seaons”, publisher: Boni Libri, Lublin 2014. The album is on sale at Leica Gallery Warsaw. The Gallery is also offering exhibited works.