Krystyna Ziach
Toned gelatin silver print, 44,5 x 44 cm, 90 x 80 cm, edition 5 each
Metamorphosis 1983-1986
Collection Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, NL & Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris, FR

/ .. / If one can say about the Renaissance that it discovered man and the human body, made them into the object of art, and that the artist considered himself to be a shining example of this new sense of self-esteem, the eighties of the twentieth century were characterized by an intensive exchange of ideas concerning man’s relationship with his social environment, with the artist conceiving his or her own person as a model in the depiction or presentation of situations in which the relationship between man and contemporary culture was explored in its social, philosophical, psychological and sexual dimensions. In this respect female artists in particular were role models and took leading positions, from Valie Export, Katharina Sieverding and Nathalia LL, to Colette and Barbara Hammann. In all her work, however much it may have changed over the last ten years, Krystyna Ziach put the emphasis on duality. Human beings were shown in their relationship to an environment which, although situated outside the self, was nevertheless characterized and formed by it. In the series Metamorphosis with which Krystyna Ziach succeeded her first breakthrough towards art criticism, she focused her attention on the dissolution of the self, its merging into the painted backgrounds. These works evolved to a large extent from the image, showed expressivity and spontaneity, developed their issues and their philosophical foundation in the reflection of the painting. In these works Krystyna Ziach already showed herself to be an early representative of staged photography and photo performance. Her successful combination of painterly and conceptual points of departure transformed the act of taking photos into the mere final execution of the already completed art work. For Krystyna Ziach photography is the medium through which she fuses the varied constituents of her work - painting, performance, concept and later also assembly and sculpture – to a new whole. In the photo work she could join the heterogeneous parts and give the art work a new identity / .. /
A Chamber of Mirrors / Krystyna Ziach, 1994, Reinhold Miesselbeck, curator for photography and new media of the Ludwig Museum Cologne, DE