Magda Hueckel: „HUECKEL / TEATR vol. II”


Magda Hueckel: „HUECKEL / TEATR vol. II”

23.02 – 27.03.2018

exhibition opening: 23.02 (Friday), 6 PM / admission free


“Magda Hueckel’s portfolio of theatre photography is very impressive. Her 2015 album Hueckel / Teatr could contain only a fraction of the vast collection of photos taken during hundreds of performances or rehearsals.[1] Based on the material which, at least in theory, belongs to the archives and presents the course and nature of a show, the photographer decided to spin a visual narrative detached from individual stagings. As she herself acknowledged while preparing the publication, she was guided by her desire to create an unobvious story, which unravels only when we step out of the order determined by the stories narrated in the performances.[2] It could be said that in this way she has used the theatre photography material to fulfil her own ambitions and the need of artistic expression. But did she make no mark of her individual perspective on the photos already at the time of taking them? Even if she was following the action on stage, tracing the minute gestures of actors, conscious of the concept of the director inside out, she will always remain, as she describes it, “a non-neutral medium” which can only “follow its own feeling”.[3]

Theatre photography should therefore be seen as an independent and equal branch of Hueckel’s work. Although the artist “empowers” this form of communication and stresses its creative dimension, she does not burn bridges and cut herself off from the original context. Wojciech Nowicki has written about the images from the album: “I like to look at these photographs as if pictures from a single performance”. This statement not only highlights the fact that they are open to interpretation and carry the potential to create new meaning structures, but it also emphatically highlights their correlation with the poetics of performing arts.

The exhibition Hueckel / Teatr vol. II presented in Wozownia is another manipulation of the theatre photography material by the artist. While the album, as suggested by Nowicki, seemed to (only) relate an arranged “play”, in the gallery space we are dealing with a performance par excellence. We are entering a staged world whose boundary is set – as if by a theatre curtain – by a plastic veil. (…)”

(N. Cieślak, “Hueckel / Teatr vol. II”, fragment)


[1] Magda Hueckel regularly colaborates with Warsaw theatres such as Krzysztof Warlikowski’s Nowy Teatr, Grand Theatre—National Opera, National Stary Theatre, Powszechny Theatre, TR Warszawa, Contemporary Theatre, Jewish Theatre, Ateneum, as well as Stefan Jaracz Theatre in Łódź and Wybrzeże Theatre in Gdańsk.

[2] Podglądanie duchów, fotografowanie ciał. Conversations with Magda Hueckel: Agata Adamiecka-Sitek and Iwona Kurz [in:] Hueckel / Teatr, concept and image selection: W. Nowicki, M. Hueckel, ed. A. Adamiecka-Sitek, Instytut Teatralny im. Zbigniewa Raszewskiego, Warszawa 2015, p. 5.

[3]Ibid, p. 7.