Monthly Archives: April 2011

Zbigniew Rybczyński

Zbigniew Rybczyński is a visionary Polish film director, animator, cinematographer, innovator and experimentator in the technical field of filmmaking. He is a recognized pioneer in HDTV technology, which he used for the first time in 1986, while directing music video for John Lennon’s Imagine. Rybczyński won numerous prestigious industry awards internationally. He also has a distinguished academic career, teaching at universities in Poland, Germany, US and Japan.

Rybczyński is best known for his short animated video Tango, for which, among many other awards, he received an Oscar in 1983. The entire film is shot from a static camera, which focuses on the interior of a medium-sized room. The space is gradually filled with random characters from everyday life, who preoccupied with their daily routine move around the room in infinite loops, avoiding each other miraculously. The ostensible chaos and madness, created by Rybczyński in this scene, in fact happens to be a work of mathematical perfection and an extraordinary montage skill.

“I had to draw and paint about 16.000 cell-mattes, and make several hundred thousand exposures on an optical printer. It took a full seven months, sixteen hours per day, to make the piece […] The miracle is that I made less than one hundred mathematical mistakes out of several hundred thousand possibilities.” [zbigvision]

Tango was an inspiration to many music videos, including excellent (video, not the song!) Kylie Minogue’s Come In To My World directed by Michel Gondry.

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Gizycki, M. (2009) Antologia Polskiej Animacji (Anthology of Polish Animated Film), DVD, Poland: Polskie Wydawnictwo Audiowizualne

Zbig Vision: http://www.zbigvision.com/

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John Stezaker – the surreal collagist

Untitled, 1977

‘I am dedicated to fascination – to image fascination, a fascination for the point at which the image becomes self-enclosed and autonomous. It does so through a series of processes of disjunction.’

John Stezaker


John Stezaker is a British conceptual artist working mostly in the field of collage. The excellent exhibition in Whitechapel Gallery is his first major solo retrospective, yet he has been manipulating photographs for the past four decades. Stezaker works mostly using classic movie stills, vintage postcards and illustrations.

Negotiable Space I, 1978

His collages at first glance seem effortless (very often it’s a postcard pasted onto an old photograph), but closer look reveals an incredible precision with which he chooses two pictures to fit perfectly together (the collages are made manually without digital manipulation). Also carefully selected titles intensify the poetic meaning of the artworks.

Mask X, 1982

My favourite works are the Marriage and the Film Portrait series, in which the artist creates the Frankenstein-like impressions simply by fusion of two halfs of different portraits together (usually male and female). Stezaker acts here as some mad plastic surgeon, who with a single cut of the blade constructs these often creepy, yet somehow beautiful hybrids. The hand of the same ‘maniac’ could also be seen in the Love and the Blind series, where the artist enhances the eyes of his female subjects by giving them the hypnotic ‘double vision’, while taking away the visual perception from the males.

John Stezaker @ Whitechapel Gallery.

The artist is represented by the Approach Gallery.

Marriage I, 2006

Film Portrait (She) VIII, 2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love XI, 2006

Blind II, 2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Voyeur, 1979