The Institution is funded from the budget of Toruń Municipality

photo by Sung Nam-Hun


exhibition view

The Past Is a Foreign Country

photo by Tomasz Wiech

Published: 22 stycznia 2010 Views: 1247 Art, Exhibitions

(skawce) / Something Private | Tomasz Wiech

photography exhibition

CoCA in Torun would like to invite you to see the project accompanying the World Press Photo 09, an exhibition by Tomasz Wiech entitled (skawce). The photographer was awarded third prize in the Daily Life category. Furthermore, pictures from his series Something Personal will be presented in the Virtual Gallery

/ (skawce) –  project accompanying the World Press Photo exhibition

I knew about the dam or a very long time, because as a child I would pass by every year on my way for my vacation, but only two years ago the emptiness of that area caught my attention. Such a huge space that you can see down there. I thought it would be cool to drive down there. (…) I knew that the village was shrinking and wit every single visit there are fewer and fewer houses that I could see on the pictures that had been taken before.(…)

Tomasz Wiech
(excerpt from the interview: A reportage is just an account of a dance contest, a documentary is a record of the life of the dancers.)



Skawce is the name of a village in Małopolska, less than a hundred kilometers from Wadowice, upon the river Skawa. The first signals indicating the plans of flooding this area reached the inhabitants in the 1960s. Several years later the construction of a 50 meter tall dam began, and it has not been completed to this day. Today nobody can tell whether it will ever be finished.
The artificial lake that exists only in the plans changes the lives of the inhabitants of Skawce. They were forbidden to renovate the old or build new houses. The top-down decision required them to sell their land, their farms and move to an area set higher above sea level, to an area commonly known as New Skawce. In Old Skawce there is only a few houses left. The only ones left are those who want to die where they were born.

/ Something Private – Virtual Gallery

Together with the (skawce) project, the Virtual Gallery will present a photography series by Tomasz Wiech called Something Private. The pictures have been taken at the offices of large companies from Cracow and illustrate the daily lives of corporate workers. A photography belonging to the series entitled Corporate Breakfast brought the author a third prize in this year’s edition of World Press Photo.

Nowadays more and more people are working in offices, where they spend most of their days. The office becomes a home and the home becomes a bedroom. The walls dividing the cubicles are turned into galleries of children’s drawings, the screen of the computer – a place for a vacation picture, the desk – a place to put the Christmas Tree. The cool corporate spaces are designed in a similar way everywhere. Dehumanized by principle, they look the same in the developed countries and in the developing countries, such as Poland. When they are empty, they represent only mediocrity, sameness, when they are filled with people, they gain a more personal dimension.   
Tomasz Wiech

Tomasz Wiech (1979) graduated from the faculty of Political Science at the Jagiellonian University, he is a student at the Institute of Creative Photography in Opava. He is the winner of numerous prestigious awards, such as Grand Press Photo (category People) in 2006, 3rd prize Daily Life Singles at World Press Photo 2009, furthermore, winner of prizes at BZ WBK Press Photo Competition 2007 and 2008, and competitions organized by the magazines Newsweek (2006) and Pozytyw (2005).
His works were shown at such joint exhibitions as: People. Events. Changes. 20 Years of Gazeta Wyborcza Photography (Warsaw, Zachęta Gallery, 2009), Red, White and Other Colours (Kaunas Photo Festival, Lithuania) or exhibitions within the Photomonth in Cracow (2009) and individual exhibitions, amongst others: Chorzów Dream (Pauza Gallery, Cracow 2009) The Way Through Romania (Willa Decjusza, Cracow 2007), or the plein-air exhibition Podgórzanie in Bednarski Park in Cracow.

In 2009 he held photography workshops with young people within the Hidden Wings Program organized by the Foundation of Folk Theater, he also held photography workshops with children in the National Museum in Cracow, and photography workshops with students from Poland, Lithuania, Portugal and Spain within the ToTu Festival in Staszów.

He is interested in people and the way they live their lives. This theme is reflected in the cycles devoted to the inhabitants of the Polish-German border area, the inhabitants of Cracow’s Nowa Huta, a project documenting the everyday life of corporate workers, or the touching series entitled Generation 1906.


photo by Tomasz Wiech photo by Tomasz Wiech photo by Tomasz Wiech

Instytucja finansowana ze środków Miasta Toruń