PROJECT WOMEN INTERNATIONAL
A Slavic woman goes by many names. Photographer Maksymilian Ławrynowicz has been aware of that for a long time. His love of Slavic legends, history, and folklore resulted in a unique international photo project. Slavic Women is a turning point in the photographer’s series about women. Maksymilian Ławrynowicz once again bows to legendary Slavic women, although this time the scale of the undertaking is different. The artist takes on mythological and historical characters of the Slavs, observes female figures from the legends of Polish cities or regions, and delves into the culture of our friends and neighbours: Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine and Belarus. So far, this exhibition is so far the biggest one he has done, and it is partly made up from a selection of the author’s earlier works which draw upon folk and history, and which will be redefined, set in new frames and assigned to new characters. The other part of the exhibition are new portrait photos created especially for the occasion. The whole undertaking is comprised of 54 portraits.
Years of work as a creative director in art agencies, as well as PR and marketing agencies, resulted in an unusual approach which Maksymilian takes in his attempts to show the images of these special characters. Using modern solutions, cooperating with fashion and costume designers, artists, florists and, finally, make-up artists and hairdressers, the photographer presents contemporary, creative, downright fashion-like visions of Slavic women. Apart from its photographic form, the whole series feels a lot like contemporary content marketing, which the author flirts with. The key was to create photos that will be equally attractive and stimulating to the imagination of the recipient both in the halls of the museum and in the digital space. The photos are characterised by Vogue style high touch retouching and a coherent visual concept – it takes one look at the whole project to see that we are dealing with a coherent series.
The name of the series is also special. Unable to choose between a universal English or Latin name, the author addressed Zbigniew Babik, PhD – a specialist in Proto-Slavic languages at the Institute of Slavonic Studies of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków. Together they created the title ŽENY SLOVĚNЬSKY a name that was created following the rules of the transcription used for the reconstruction the Proto-Slavic pronunciation of the Old Church Slavonic language, which is the oldest literary Slavic language. It is a form of language reconstruction, and what it means is actually “Slavic Women.”
We therefore want to invite you on a wondrous journey, where you will see women emerging from stories – half fairy-tale-like, half historical: legendary rulers, mythological goddesses, folk demons. Female symbols, who made a stay in the outskirts of collective imagination. Today, they return from remote past, from old books, fairy-tales and drawn-out stories, taking a contemporary form in order to once again take their rightful place – in the hearts of all Slavs, regardless of country borders.
The faces of the exhibition became five exceptional women: Polish-Belarusian activist Jana Szostak, Polish-Slovak actress Vanessa Aleksander, Polish-Czech-Lithuanian actress Joanna Moro and Polish actress Anna Cieślak.
MEDIA & INTERNET:
XXX XXX XXX
PARTNERS OF THE PROJECT:
FUNDACJA PROJEKT KOBIETY MIASTO WARSZAWA
INSTITUTE OF WESTERN AND SOUTHERN SLAVIC ON WARSAW UNIVERSITY
INSTITUTE OF SLAVONIC STUDIES ON JAGIELLONIAN UNIVERSITY
DEPARTAMENT OF BELARUSIAN STUDIES ON UNIVERSITY IN BIAŁYSTOK
INSTITUTE OF WESTERN & SOUTHERN SLAVIC
SLAVIC PUBLISHING HOUSE "TRIGLAV"
LEGENDARY WOMEN OF POLAND
HONORARY PATRONAGE OF MADAM VICEMARSHAL OF POLISH SENATE GABRIELA MORAWSKA-STANECKA
LEGENDARY WOMEN OF UKRAINE
HONORARY PATRONAGE OF XXX
LEGENDARY WOMEN OF BELARUS