Un/fleeting Moments – an outdoor exhibition of Wojtek Szabelski’s theatre photographs

(Theatre square)

Duration: 22nd May– 12th June

The twenty photographs taken by Wojtek Szabelski, showing the most interesting images from premieres held in the last decade, offer a few glimpses of the recent history of the Toruń stage. For the photographer collaborating with the Horzyca Theatre for over 25 years, his work has always meant more than just taking photos documenting events staged in the theatre. What brings more satisfaction is being right there, where you are given the chance to capture the most fleeting moments – emotions, relationships, and possible friction. To do that, you need to search for a specific movement, light, and colour, taking photos from non-obvious perspec-tives and places, which results in images from beyond the viewers’ field of vision’. You need to engage in an experiment aimed at drawing on the subjective experience of theatre. Such an approach to photography becomes an independent work of art and an element of a new trend in theatrical photography. “Only an artist is able to fully reproduce the work of another artist,”writes Krzysztof Bieliński in his manifesto, (Fotografika, “Teatr” 9/2020).
The exhibition was created on the occasion of the centennial the Polish dramatic theatre had been established in Toruń, celebrated last year (the symbolic final part of the exhibition fea-tures photos from the April premiere of Fredro’s Revenge, directed by Paweł Paszta – a play with which Franciszek Frączkowski opened the Polish theatre in 1920).
The exhibition is an event commissioned by the organisers of the 25th Kontakt International Theatre Festival.

Wojtek Szabelski

Freelance photographer. For twenty years, Wojtek Szabelski was a full-time photojour-nalist of the Central Photographic Agency (CAF) and the Polish Press Agency. Member of the Association of Polish Fine Art Photographers (ZPAF). He has been repeatedly awarded at photo competitions: Grand Press Photo, Polish Press Photography Competition, Newsreportaż/ Reportage, World Sport Photo Contest, Tokyo, and the Theatre Photography Competition. Nominated for the Photojournalist of the Year 2020 in the category: ‘best political phototographer’. Three-time holder of a scholarship granted by the Marshal of the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Voivodeship in the area of culture. Wojtek Szabelski has had several one-man exhibitions. He takes both digital and analogue photographs, not shying away from experimenting, for example by taking up mobile phone photography. One of his favourite subjects is theatre, while photography itself has become an inseparable part of his life and a way of life. For over twenty-five years now, he has been col-laborating with the Wilam Horzyca Theatre in Toruń. For more photos see: www.szabelski.com

Curators: Klaudia Peplińska (Nicolaus Copernicus University Faculty of the Humanities), Wojtek Szabelski Exhibition design idea: Nika Tarnowska (Wilam Horzyca Theatre in Toruń)
Organisers: Wilam Horzyca Theatre in Toruń
Nicolaus Copernicus University Faculty of the Humanities
Co-operation: Toruńska Agenda Culturalna/ Toruń Cultural Agency