Igor Pisuk

5 July 2020
A young Polish photographer and alcoholic addict in the past works more often in the genre of black and white documentary photography; his images can be compared stylistically and thematically with authors such as Antoine D'Agata and Jacob Sobol. But unlike them, Igor himself often is the main object of photographic research - this way he expresses modern trends shaped by social networks.





According to the photographer, Instagram - as an idea, was supposed to allow instant photography. Each inhabitant of the planet with a smartphone can, in a few seconds after shooting, publish it on the Internet, where it will be available to everyone. But what Instagram did was an increase of narcissistic tendencies, the affirmation of egoists showing their economic status. Instagram has changed the character of modern portrait and documentary photography.

For Igor, Instagram is a kind of diary or album. There he publishes fragments of projects that he is working on or snapshots from everyday life.

In the XX century black-and-white photography was mainly associated with documenting past eras, and color photography was accused of vulgarity and lack of focus. Color added new layers of interpretation, scattered attention on objects. Color photography seems more real because it shows the world close to how the viewer sees it. The color is more aggressive, it is about the appropriate mood, it enhances or softens emotions.

Igor Pisuk about his project Deceitful Reverence - a sincere and powerful series of photographs dedicated to the dark past of the author.
"I always carry a camera with me. I usually shoot everything that arouses my interest, I like to push the trigger when people drop their masks and stop pretending.
I shot the first picture of Deceitful Reverence while I was in Lodz, Poland, shortly after returning from a two-month treatment for alcohol addiction in a closed institution. I got addicted when I was in high school, and have drunk compulsively for almost 8 years. In some way, photography saved my life. I learned to exist without high, fake stimulations. After the treatment, I felt that I could start my life with a new beginning.
I started with taking pictures of my surroundings. It became my way to express my feelings, the chaos in my head. At that time I also moved with my girlfriend from Poland to Sweden, where we live now. I started to use photography to visualize my loneliness, abandonment, love etc. In Deceitful Reverence I want to show my visions, emotions, dreams from my past and present life.
The first pictures I took for Deceitful Reverence were self-portraits. One night, after I quit drinking, I saw my naked body in the mirror in the bathroom. I was extremely skinny, gaunt and exhausted. I couldn't recognize myself. It was a mad and strange experience. I took my compact camera and made a few self-portraits. I wanted to document that moment, to try to capture those feelings in the pictures. After that, I regularly started taking photos of myself to describe how my body expressed the feelings and simply see how I looked, how time changed my looks. Soon I realized that I really don't know myself.

My addiction had totally blocked my feelings, reactions, desires – my mind and my whole perception of reality… Turning the camera on myself was a beginning to asking myself fundamental questions like: Who am I? Where am I? And why?

I never thought so much about the form, it's very organic and instinctive for me. I chose that language because it expresses my feelings. Sometimes images have a strong contrast, sometimes not, sometimes they are black and white, sometimes in color, sometimes they are sharp and sometimes blurry – everything depends on the mood I am in while photographing. I don't want to interpret my work too much. If it's disturbing or repulsive to someone, it's ok with me – as long as emotions are evoked. I take it as a good sign because it means that they provoke something real and human. I think that life and art are not made up and should not deal only with the nice, comfortable things in life. Images of pain, suffering, isolation are important as well.

First and foremost I realized that I can live without drugs, and that being clean is better than being stoned. It could also be exciting, but the main thing is that personal experiences, even the most traumatic, are important. And it's okay to talk about it and to not be afraid of other people's reactions. My photography is a form of therapy and it's not a shame for me. It makes me stronger and more aware of myself and reality."
Instagram of Igor Pisuk
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