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Magdalena Wywrot


Essays by David Campany & Barbara Rosemary
146 Pages
Duotone Offset
9.5” x 9.5”
ISBN: 978-1-952523-26-7

Magdalena Wywrot’s Pestka is a gravity-defying, through-the-looking-glass portrait of the life of a mother and her adolescent daughter, a series of time-lapse dispatches seemingly beamed from a hermetic space station suspended high above a planet (and Krakow, Poland) where time is literally standing still. The world outside the windows of Wywrot’s space station/apartment looks both distant and desolate and incredibly beautiful, almost devoid of a human presence. Yet the mother continues to take photos, while the daughter goes about her life and grows up before our eyes. A sort of rapture appears to have taken place outside, while an intimate metamorphosis (and an intimate surveillance) is slowly going on inside. A dreamlike sense of unsettling dislocation pervades the entire work. That sense will likely be familiar to anyone who has lived with a child and experienced firsthand the endless and startling transformations that occur—day by day and year by year—as a child grows into adulthood. There is fishbowl quality to Wywrot’s photos, which shapeshift, mercury-like, between Expressionism, Impressionism, and abstraction. The portraits are tender, mysterious, full of sparks of wonder and ecstasy, while the landscapes are disorienting, forbidding, vaguely apocalyptic, and often sublime. You have a sense of an unmistakable consciousness in the work, yet you’re never quite certain where you are, and there’s a moment somewhere in the book when you suddenly feel as if some giant, ambiguous lifeforce or spirit is lurking in the murky streets below, waiting for Wywrot to complete her work and turn her daughter loose on the planet.