Dyba Lach, Adam Lach, Wounded Birds Are Wary

Curator: Michał Łuczak


Over the last year and change, Dyba and Adam Lach have spent time in Poland A and Poland B, as they are referred to, as well as Poland-all-the-way-through-the-alphabet. Their work itinerary recalls the heyday of Polish reportage, when editorial offices sent reporters to regions around the country simply to check in with how things were. A reporter wasn’t given unlimited time, but still had ample opportunity to properly cover an area—and even to grow bored with it.
Back then, the country was closed but the people: open. Today, the world has accelerated. It seems smaller. Borders are, for the most part, crossable. And yet for some time now in Poland, everything has felt entrenched: the sides, views, and divisions, the myths and symbols. Diagnoses are readily available and easy to ingest. All you have to do is pick one out.

The Lachs, however, had their doubts, which formed the basis of the texts and photographs comprising the book How to rejuvenate an eagle. Unlike that book, the exhibition Wounded Birds Are Wary is textless. All you need to know upon entering the gallery is that we are in Poland, and Poland during interesting times.
You can show a lot through photographs, but not necessarily with concrete exactness. Much depends on the contexts we each bring. When considering photography, and Poland itself, one should heed the words sung by Maria Peszek in ‘Polska A B C & D’: Nothing is what it seems.

— Michał Łuczak


Adam Lach is a documentarist and visual artist. He has done assignments for the New York Times, Le Monde, the Guardian, GEO, and Newsweek. He has won Pictures of the Year International, International Photography Awards, and Grand Press Photo competitions. He is the author of two photobooks: Stigma, which earned 1st Place distinction from the IPA, and Neverland, which is included in the Tate’s Martin Parr photobook collection. His photograph Freedom was chosen as the winner of Press Club Polska’s ‘Icon of 30 Years: Freedom and Solidarity’ competition. His works have been exhibited at La Quatrième Image festival in Paris, the Prague Biennale, and Harvard University.

Dyba Lach is a documentarist, producer, and author. She is a graduate of the Film School in Łódź, and, in Press Photography, the Institute of Journalism at the University of Warsaw. She is co-author of the photobook Stigma, which won an IPA award and was selected as a 2014 publication of the year at the Stefan Batory Foundation’s Beata Pawlak competition. In 2015, she was a finalist at the second edition of the DEBUTS competition for young photographers. She directs and coordinates artistic events, performances, concerts, cultural projects, and short documentaries.

Michał Łuczak is a photographer and curator. He is a graduate of the Institute of Creative Photography at the University of Silesia in Opava (Czech Republic); and of the University of Silesia in Katowice, where he majored in Iberian studies. Since 2010, he has been a member of the Sputnik Photos collective. In addition to his artistic practice, he co-runs Sputnik’s Mentoring Programme, an annual documentary-photography workshop. He is also a lecturer in the Faculty of Arts at the Pedagogical University of Krakow. He is the author of several photobooks: Brutal (2012); Koło miejsca/Elementarz [Environs/Primer], with Krzysztof Siwczyk (2016); and 11.41, with Filip Springer (2016).