Hanna Rozpara, Transparency
Curator: Clare Strand
‘The weather was bright and visibility was good; this was the best camouflage I have ever seen.’
—U-boat commander, quotation from: Tim Newark, Camouflage (London: Thames & Hudson/Imperial War Museum, 2007), p. 74.
The saying ‘To hide in plain sight’ describes something or someone that defies detection by being too obvious. It is this dichotomy that Hannah Rozpara’s work Transparency draws our attention to. Through sleight of hand or, in this case, light and photography, Rozpara documents the properties of translucent materials to reveal that they are anything but.
As a scholar of ‘dazzle camouflage,’ the first world modernist patterns used to disrupt and mislead ‘enemy’ warfare, Rozpara reminds us that polarised extremes can easily join around the back; what is transparent can be opaque, what is obvious can be imperceptible, and what is truth can be fabricated.
Rozpara is a mixed-media artist, which makes her choice of photography for these works all the more poignant. She is very much aware that the medium has its own issues with representation. By offering us the 5×4-inch negative frame around these large artworks, she refers to the sacrosanct claim of the un-cropped image, while at the same time reminding us that the act of photography can be as opaque as the transparent materials she presents on these walls.
This exhibition is part of the ShowOFF Section of Krakow Photomonth.
Hanna Rozpara (b. 1990, Sosnowiec) is a graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, where she earned a degree in Printmaking, in 2014. She attended the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp and studied art history at the University of Silesia in Katowice. In her practice, Hanna Rozpara deals with the broadly understood subject of camouflage, formlessness, and chaotic phenomena, often referring to the subject of war in her earlier works. She strives to obtain an image that affects the viewer, stimulating intuitive layers of consciousness beyond strict rationality. She works with painting, printmaking, photography, and graphic design, and also creates musical compositions. In April 2021, at the Academy of Fine Arts in Katowice, she defended her doctoral thesis by employing a series of large-format woodcuts and photographs on the topic of camouflage in its broadest sense.
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