Wojciech Gilewicz was born in 1974 in Poland. He lives and works between Warsaw and New York. He is a painter, photographer and author of videos and installations.
Gilewicz’s art provokes reflection on the mechanisms which govern perception and its cultural conditioning. The author actively collaborates with the viewer, whom he involves both in his projects and in polemics about myths and stereotypes concerning the most recent art, its reception and interpretation. Gilewicz takes on board issues related to the role of painting as well as video in today’s world, the status of the artist and artistic work in the context of the institution and the art system as well as the society at large.
In 2009 the Centre of Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw published Them – an artistic album of Wojciech Gilewicz’s work, which presented a series of photographic double self-portraits, a project started in 2002 which continues to date.
Me and Fazal, Them Series #86), photography & digital print, 28″ x 40″, 2012
My photographic series of self-portraits “Them” has been developed since 2002. The series was originally created with the use of half filter and double exposure, without any Photoshop intervention nor other technical gimmicks ( http://www.691456535.home.pl/GILEWICZ/ckfinder_pliki/files/ONI.pdf ).
In my photographic “Them” series I do not use the half filter and double exposure anymore now. Instead I am looking for intimate relationships with people. It often takes place in homophobic and intolerant societies where gay people can’t easily speak for themselves. In my new photographs I cover almost completely with my body the other person I work with. This physical overlapping is nearly ideal, but always a detail or two is giving away the presence of the other person hiding behind me. I often “borrow” from him/her fragments of his/her body, e.g. in Image “Me and Milosz” it is not me who shaves my beard, but I am shaven by my friend Milosz standing behind me, in Image “Me and Fazal” this is a friend of mine Fazal from Pakistan holding the bunch of grapes being put into my mouth. Thanks to this simple procedure (which is not a technical manipulation nor a PhotoShop usage) I let people with whom I work on a given photo session be “physically” present on the photography. The process of taking a picture creates a physical proximity and a peculiar sense of closeness between the two of us. Therefore the photo session is more about establishing a relationship, or even a friendship, or at least having a sincere intimate conversation, than just plain working on a photo session. We exchange our experiences and each session is marked very strongly with the personality of this second person, who is in fact nearly invisible on the photo.