Traces by Weronika Gęsicka

Weronika Gesicka is a Polish visual artist. She graduated from the graphics department ofthe Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. Her projects are about memory and its mechanisms.  She is interested in the scientific and pseudoscientific theories, mnemonics and variousdisorders concerning it. She is also curious about the process of memorizing and forgetting,  which depends on so many factors. Her main field of activity is photography. She also createobjects and artifacts, often in collaboration with craftsmen and sometimes with other artists.  An important part of her art is working with archive materials of various sources. These areboth image banks or images found on the Internet and police archives or old pressphotography.

Traces are, by definition, marks or other indications of the existence or passing of something.  Evidence of a presence. Confirmation of participation. Examples of such traces are photographs, which document the existence of people, situations, moments. They are like engrams that come about through certain stimuli and experiences. 

This project is based on vintage photographs purchased from an image bank. Family scenes,  vacation souvenirs, everyday life, suspended anywhere between truth and fiction. It is hard tofigure out whether they are spontaneous or entirely staged. We know nothing of the actualties between the individuals in the photographs; we can only guess at the truthfulness of their gestures and gazes. Who are, or were, these people in the photographs? Are they actorsplaying happy families, or real people whose photographs were put up for sale by the imagebank? Some are present. Others vanish from the pictures, but always leave a trace. Theseimages, modified in various ways, are wrapped in new context: our recollections of thesepeople and situations are transformed and gradually blur into a new reality.

All photos by Weronika Gesicka