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PHOTOMONTH IN KRAKOW — 2010 Photomonth_kropki_duze


On the book:
Over the past forty years some inhabitants of Podhale have devised home-made tractors. These machines, built from whatever materials happen to be lying around, are still intriguing from a visual perspective and – just as importantly – flawless from a technical perspective. This book sums up a project of several years, documenting the causes of such numerous Podhale tractors in the Social Realist epoch. Skąpski managed to find the first builders of these unique vehicles. He noticed that the pioneers perfected their craft with each new project, making increasingly advanced constructions, working towards a model for the perfect tractor. The construction of machines, however utilitarian, is also surely a mark of individuality. Skąpski’s project reveals untapped regions of creative thought in post-war Poland.

“It is not inconceivable (...) that this field of mechanics will turn into a pure art. People will need their own, unique machines. There’s no other way to live in this formatted and bland world, ruled by fuel consumption, air resistance, CO emissions and service accessibility. Clint Eastwood said in an interview that all contemporary automobiles look like hair removers. He was absolutely right. It should bring reflection’.
Andrzej Stasiuk (from the Introduction)

On the author:
Łukasz Skąpski (b. 1958 in Katowice) creates installations, photographs and videos. He studied at the Painting Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, in the studios of professors Tadeusz Brzozowski, Jan Szancenbach and Stanisław Rodziński (1977–1982). He co-founded the 11 m2 Group (1982). He has received a scholarship from the Boswil Artists’ Home in Switzerland, and has won the Rouse Kent Public Art Award (2001). He is a co-founder and member of the Azorro Supergroup (2000). Łukasz Skąpski’s work is marked by a great stylistic diversity. It is always linked, however, by the artist’s distance from reality. His work has a minimalism tinted with irony, a subtle sense of humour and a live interest in socio-political reality, particularly in the artist’s closest surroundings – through the people and events in the places he lives and where he visits.


14.05.2010, 7:00 p.m.
A meeting with Łukasz Skąpski, author of Machines. Home-made Tractors from Podhale, Poland and a screening of his documentary film on the machines’ owners (Publisher: Foundation for Visual Arts) (only Polish!)
Goldex Poldex, 21/12 Józefińska st.