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Projekt UFO 17
Projekt UFO 02
Projekt UFO 09
Projekt UFO 12
Projekt UFO 16
Projekt UFO 10
Projekt UFO 04
Projekt UFO 15
UFO, installation, Caja de luz
Projekt UFO 07
Projekt UFO 01

Szymon Rogiński works mainly in topographic documentary photography. However, he has enough courage to cross the line between the conventional and the world of fantasy and imagination. This value may be due to the fact that, apart from his artistic activity, Rogiński works for different media as one of the best commercial photographers.  This unique feature of his works is recognizable in his early USA project (2001). In it, he takes on the challenge of photographing the United States, an already difficult task for a European artist, equipped with much more than his classic Mamiya 7. More important to this project than the camera itself were shots of various masters stored in Rogiński's artistic mind. He went to the works of photography icons such as Timothy O'Sullivan, Walker Evans, Ansel Adams, Robert Frank or William Eggleston, as well as distinguished Polish photographers such as Tomasz Tomaszewski. Speaking of the USA project, he also analyzes and reviews many films, especially David Lynch's inspiring stills.


It should be noted that not only photography and cinema have given credit to Rogiński, since his American photographs showed a unique approach of "painter" of reality. The poetic atmosphere of the works, however realistic, of Edward Hopper is mixed in his photographs with the new doses of emotion and sensitivity of a young European in a strange continent.

It can be said that in his American project, Rogiński fully experiences the state of modern photography. That is to say, a state constituted by a certain tension between the need to present an original perception of the subject and the impossibility of escaping from a series of iconic images. The difficulty in avoiding these types of images stems from the idea that they not only inspire reflection, but also become game objects with the conventionality of realistic images. It should be remembered that the United States, which we also came to know from Rogiński's photographs, was described in detail by Jean Baudrillard as an unreal world of simulation (interestingly, the USA author illustrates his argument with photographs). Large color photographs by the Polish artist that will present the American landscape of the early 21st century. These works seem to contribute successfully to  the abundant photographic, cinematographic and pictorial production.


Modernizing and updating the familiar landscape iconography was much easier in Rogiński's second major project: Poland-Synthesis (2003-2006). Poland's landscape photography came to a standstill many years ago in the form of trivial scrapbooks and tourist calendars. The torpor of recent decades - in which Michal Cala, Wilczyk Wojciech and the so-called Jelenia Gora school of art stand out - is even more painful in the context of a great tradition of the genre: beginning with the chamber masters of the 19th century, such as Karol Beyer or Szubert Awit, and from the 20th century, Jan Bułhak (the author of the concept of "native photography" -native photography- in Poland), Henryk Poddębski, Edward Hartwig, Paweł Pierściński or Adam Bujak. Rogiński's photographs represent a documentary trend of the 21st century and boldly cross the borders of the old iconographic norms. Post-communist Poland is illustrated by Rogiński as grim, haunting, and country-like, sometimes grotesque. Some images are reminiscent of stills from horror and thriller movies, but also resemble the mind-blowing aesthetic of video games. Visionary images of the night show the spooky new face of Poland. The gloomy, even catastrophic atmosphere of these photographs is aptly interpreted in the title of the group exhibition The End, My Friend (2006) shown in a Berlin gallery, where the nightscapes were presented.


However, the night photographs turned out to be, not the end, but the beginning of a further search by the photographer, who explored the land between the Baltic Sea and the Tatra Mountains, as well as the time between day and night._cc781905 -5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_ In Light Poland (2004-2007) Rogiński chose sunrise as the only moment of the day full of combined emotions thanks to the unique effect of the luminosity that gives the series its title. "I only look at the sunrise after a sleepless night, and it always impresses me," says the artist. The same sentiment will likely be shared by those viewing this series of large-format photographs. The lack of sleep, characterized by the state of balance on the edge of consciousness, the painful sharpness of the senses, the irritation of the nerves and the fatigue of the body is thematic by the artist in his photographs created in Tokyo (2005).


Spectacular futuristic images of a metropolis give way to equally otherworldly photographs in the latest series, UFO (2007) (UFO). The darkness illuminated with its characteristic light, the starry sky, and the remote areas visited by extraterrestrials are the focus of these images. In UFO, we can observe the author's degree of interest in the unknown - the Freudian category of "unheimlich" hidden in the technical and objective invention of photography. The hidden and the incredible are shown. Something beyond human perception, which is either believed or laughed at, is revealed. Again, as in all of Rogiński's documentary works, we ask ourselves – is that all? Only this? What else can we see? What will broaden the horizons of our knowledge and experience?


When looking at UFO photographs, we approach the line between document and fantasy, the limit of what is representable. Little by little, however, with incredible precision, Rogiński builds up a wow effect. Here, each detail of a photograph is equally important for the sense of the whole and for the creation of the atmosphere. It's the exact opposite of what séance and paranormal photographers did a century ago - manipulating technology, making aesthetic use of chemistry, optical and refractive errors in order to create incredible images. Today, almost no one is impressed with the effects of technology beyond the control of the photographer. Blurring emulsion, fading and overexposure, as well as easy editing is nothing unusual in the days of Photoshop. Rogiński's photographs exude an extraterrestrial, or even metaphysical aura. We know that in UFO photographs, the spooky effect is achieved with the use of technology, but we can't (or don't want to) resist. Incredibly realistic and perfectly orchestrated and composed, the gradually lit and shot photographs tempt and sow the seeds of faith in something inexplicable, something far beyond the trivial technicality of the medium. In this aspect, Rogiński's UFO deals with faith in a reality different from that of the sensible world. These landscapes are mystical and their spirituality (rather than sensibility) is modern. The emptiness of the field visited by extraterrestrials is the evidence of an event that we will never realize until, paradoxically, we believe in it. In other words, you can't see it unless you want to see it.


Inspired by the photographer's assistant, who believes in the existence of an intelligent form of extraterrestrial life, the series leads us to questions that are not abstract at all. You could even call them existential. If people can see the Virgin in the photograph of a windowpane or a tree, if we distinguish the image of John Paul II in a bonfire, why can't we see a UFO in Rogiński's images? Is it possible to live totally devoid of faith in the New Age? It is certainly not easy, but - as Rogiński suggests - a photograph can always be trusted. You never lie, do you?

More about szymon roginski

Individual expositions

2012                         PHotoEspaña - "UFO Project" 

          _cc781905-5cde-3194 -bb3b-136bad5cf58d_           _cc781905 -5cde-3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_         _cc781905-5cde-3194- bb3b-136bad5cf58d_Blanca Soto Art Gallery, Madrid, Spain.

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