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The reader’s gaze passes through the embossed pattern of the front cover. This large-format book, as soft as flower petals, is an invitation to dive in a herbarium. It tells a loving dialogue with a dose of poetry that appeals to all the senses: the look, the touch, the smell of the perfumes we imagine, the sound of the pages we turn… These imaginary flowers, reproduced in black and white, seem to have been caressed by all the parts of human body and this touch leaves behind mysterious traces. At the end of the book we see dark photos of vases which receive bouquets and secrets.
member of the AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale)
Hymn of love
On one hand, a man on the edge between a breakup and a new relationship. On the other - a woman trying to mark her presence in the man's life in order to free him from the toxic past. On one hand, dried bouquets of flowers that never reached the addressee are reborn, creating a chance for a new life together. On the other - empty vases impose a more or less polished form on this life, inscribing it in certain conventions.
As François Cheval writes in the essay accompanying the publication: “A body on a quest for its own reconstruction is what Marta Zgierska and Mateusz Sarełło are inviting us to consider. Despite the face’s withdrawal, despite the anonymity, the dispersion resulting from the dismemberment doesn’t tell us that it has disappeared. The numerous details arranged into bouquets place, by contrast, this singular experience as the founding of a new horizon.
In this strange Garden, the fantastic, surreal component makes this short and thickset photographic story a tragicomedy of the body. Photography, and this is one of its rare qualities, has the capacity to model flesh, to make it into a Dionysiac incident. To the real world’s agitation, the medium opposes a symbolic, grotesque violence by exploring new and surprising forms. Do Marta Zgierska and Mateusz Sarełło hope that a happy end may arise from this monstrous collage, that a radiant future can be rebuilt? And how can the details of a body, which is experienced in everyday life, as it is experienced in pleasure, transform into a founding event, above the ruins of past morbidity?”
- SPECIAL PRIZE at the 2023 Prix Bob Calle du livre d'artiste
- SPECIAL PRIZE at the 2023 Polish Photographic Publication of the Year
- Shortlisted for the 2023 The Most Beautiful Polish Books
IN THE PRESS
Photographs & collages: Marta Zgierska and Mateusz Sarełło
Letter: Mateusz Sarełło
Essay: François Cheval
Book design: Aneta Kowalczyk
Photo edition: Marta Zgierska, Mateusz Sarełło, Aneta Kowalczyk
Photo post-processing: Aneta Kowalczyk (bw), Tomasz Kubaczyk (silver)
Translation: Matilda Holloway
Proofreading: Ben Borek
Cover: Soft, Takeo Pachica
Inside: Munken Print White, Fedrigoni Savile Row Plain Dark Grey
Format: 310×420 mm
Number of pages: 62
Number of photographs: 13 (black&white) + 8 (silver Pantone)
Language version: English
Print run: 800 copies
Printing and binding: Argraf (Warsaw, Poland) & Marceli Printery (Warsaw, Poland)
Publication date: July 2022
Publisher: BLOW UP PRESS