* 1967 in Warsaw, Poland
Immigrated to South Africa in 1990, Irek Kielczyk got to know the photography by private studies. In Cape Town he worked as an assistant for Bruce Weber. In the middle of the 90ies he returned to Poland, where from then on he took pictures for several fashion magazines. Because of the conversion to digital photography, Kielczyk’s methods and themes’ selection changed. Fashion and portrait shoots were detached by a new interest for pictorial language. Since then Kielczyk focalises on forms and colour. As many photographers, who represented youth and fashion culture in the 90ies, Kielczyk, Wolfgang Tillmann and others nowadays try to mediate a pictorial appreciation disconnected from the object. Due to an excessively long illumination and the camera’s shaking and moving during the exposure the objects and figures start to transform. Trees mutate into vertical blades, an illuminated frosted glass appears as waving, red hair and dancing women change into coloured bright whirls. It is about dematerialisation and abstraction of shapes and landscapes with help of the camera, which is not visible to the naked eye.
Irek Kielczyk chooses landscapes and dancing women as the initial motives for his abstracting coloured and black-and-white photos, which are extensively detached from the object. Pictured free dances transport a mysterious atmosphere and bring up associations with ritual and witches’ dances. Whether you call her Pscipolnitsa, Poluudnica, Psezpolnica, Polednice, Polednica, Poludnitsa or ‚ a mercifully ‚ a Lady Midday, ancient Slavic mythology suggests that you really don`t want to meet this woman on a hot day. In fact, Lady Midday is a noon demon, which is just one more reason why staying indoors at the hottest part of the day is always a good idea. According to Slavic mythology, Lady Midday had a tendency of appearing to people in the middle of hot, summer days, showing herself as either an old hag or a stunningly beautiful young woman. The lady would stop people as they walked through the countryside, fields or while they were working, and would ask them difficult questions or perhaps simply engage them in conversation. As harmless as it sounds, she apparently had a bit of a temper. If a person failed to answer her question, or if they attempted to change the subject Lady Midday would cut off their head, or alternately, strike them with madness. These photographs were taken in the hot summer of 2009 in the mysterious land of mazovia, in the heart of Poland, where Irek Kielczyk lives.