Marlena Jablonska: 2017 LENSCRATCH Student Prize Honorable Mention Winner
Join us in congratulating Marlena Jablonska for her honorable mention in the 2017 Lenscratch Student Prize. It is understandable the desire to re-image old fables as their themes are reminiscent of development and coming of age. Within contemporary photography, fables have been prompts for tableaux, and other narrative driven projects, to dress up these very humanistic, basic themes. Marlena, dissecting what exactly fables are, finds herself returning home and photographing the changes that she faces. Her introspection becomes the story, lore in real-time, void of color and excitement as she navigates through spaces once familiar. This perspective, highlighted by Marlena’s somber aesthetic, provided a peculiarity that we agreed was unique and deserving of recognition.
Born in 1990, residing in Lodz, Poland. Studied journalism at the University of Warsaw. Student of photography at the National Film School in Lodz and the Institute of Creative Photography of the Silesian University in Opava. Graduate of mentoring program run by Sputnik Photos collective (2014). Scholarship holder of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage (2016).
Awards / Fama Festival, Category of Media and Visual Arts (2016) / Debut, OFF Festival (2015) / Debut, TIFF Festival (2015) /, Projekt Przetwórnia”, winner of the second edition with photographer Jacek Poremba (2014)
Shortlists / Gomma Photography Grant (2015) / TIFF Festival, Poland (2014)
Exhibitions / The Open Body, Fama Festival (2016) / Rew, OFF Festival (2015) / I, curator, OFF Bratislava (2015) / Unrecognized Arrival, Miejsce przy Miejscu, TIFF Festival (2015) / Rewind, Chapter II, Opus Gallery, Łódź Fotofestiwal (2015) / Faith, Goa International Photo Festival (2015) / Rewind, Chapter I, Pauza (2014)
Screenings / Photo Kathmandu, Kathmandu, Nepal (2015) / TIFF Festival, Wrocław, Poland (2014) / Debuts, Warsaw, Poland (2014)
Books / NO_3, Sputnik Photos (2015) / Debuts, doc! photo magazine (2014)
Folk tales, fairy tales are introductory texts in reality, learning to distinguish good from evil. They describe the principles of reality and give insight into human nature. It is also a way of learning about values, transfer of knowledge, which is difficult to recognize in a direct way. Fairy tales also reveal our way of thinking about the structure of the story.
Russian literary scholar Vladimir Propp accurately recognized and announced fairy tale elements. They form the series and the relationship between the hero, his loved ones, helper or antagonist, as well as the surrounding or just revealing to the world. All of these features singled and named – one of them is the “unrecognized arrival”. This is the moment in which, after a long time of absence hero returns home, is not recognized and it works anonymously.
Borrowing the narrative structure of Propp, I go back to my family home and try to replace the images stored in memory using the photographic medium. I treat fairytale as a tool, allowing you to try out the world, to test him – after 23 functions all subsequent Systematic Propp carry a positive solution.
marlene is a story that simultaneously uses the functions of fairy tales and photography. Shades of gray and gray, overlap, tear or overexposure become not so much a formal procedure, but a way to understand and approximate intimate history, full of connections and appeasements.
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Evie Metz: LENSCRATCH Student Prize 3rd Place WinnerJuly 12th, 2017