Fundacja Arton
  • Andrzej Jórczak photography

    Andrzej Jórczak photography

  • Andrzej Jórczak documents

    Andrzej Jórczak documents

  • Andrzej Jórczak publications

    Andrzej Jórczak publications

  • Looking at Alpha Ursae e-book

    Looking at Alpha Ursae e-book

Andrzej Jórczak

Andrzej Jórczak (born in 1944 in Warsaw, died in 1981 near Paris), artist, photographer, curator, astronomer by education. Studied at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of the University of Warsaw, where he received his MA in astronomy. In 1967, he started work as a teacher of physics at the High School no. 34 in Warsaw, and is remembered by his then students until the present day as an extremely charismatic teacher. That was also where he met Krzysztof Wojciechowski, who was a teacher at the same school and shared with him a passion for photography. Between 1969 and 1972, Jórczak was a member of the Warsaw Photographic Society. Since 1973, he was affiliated with the creative group Remont, active in the Remont Gallery at the Club of the Warsaw University of Technology. At the beginning of his creative path, he was heavily influenced by the views on art of Zbigniew Dłubak, who as a mentor and friend introduced him (alongside Henryk Gajewski and Krzysztof Wojciechowski) to the Association of Polish Art Photographers in 1975. At the same time, Jórczak developed a fascination for Jan Świdziński theory of contextual art, which was manifest in his photographic and philosophical investigations at the time. Opposing the flattening of photography, its aesthetisation, he undertook a range of experiments to explore the semantic properties of the medium. He also investigated the problems of contemporary physics and astronomy, combining in his activities the knowledge from the studies and his expertise in photography. Both paths proved useful in the epistemological speculations of the insightful artist. In 1977, Jórczak became artistic director of Mała Galeria in Zamkowy Square in Warsaw, founded upon Dłubak’s initiative. The programme of Mała Galeria under Jórczak’s leadership stood out with its broadly understood and abundantly quoted “openness” and experimental approach. It was heavily influenced by his private interests revolving around conceptual and minimal art. The ”working” and „debating” character of the gallery’s activity was outlined by Jórczak in his paper “Program i formy działalności Małej Galerii PSP-ZPAF” (Programme and Forms of Activity of Mała Galeria PSP-ZPAF, 1979). In its initial period, the gallery exhibited works by Janusz Bąkowski, Jadwiga Przybylak, Zbigniew Dłubak, Jerzy Olek, Zdzisław Jurkiewicz, Józef Robakowski, Andrzej Lachowicz, Natalia LL, Jolanta Marcolla, Andrzej Różycki and Paweł Kwiek, among other artists. Frequent monographic shows were almost always accompanied by bilingual catalogues, which functioned independently from the exhibitions. The gallery also hosted numerous discussions, film screenings and happenings. Constantly on the lookout for new themes and formal solutions both in his own practice and in his theoretical and curatorial activity, in the course of time Andrzej Jórczak aptly diagnosed the revaluation and closing of avant-garde formats and the exhaustion of the idea of (post)conceptualism. His appeal to transgress the subsequent medial and environmental limitations was laid out in his groundbreaking text “Dlaczego nie” (“Why Not?”, 1981), published in the catalogue of Jan Dobkowski’s exhibition at Mała Galeria. In 1981, due to health-related and material circumstances, Jórczak and his family decided on temporary emigration to France. Anticipating his return, Jórczak left guidelines for the gallery operations for several months ahead. Yet, after that time passed, he decided to stay abroad. Andrzej Jórczak died a tragic death in Luzarches near Paris in 1981. His friends remembered him as a focussed and serious person, who was peculiar in not fitting in with the surrounding circumstances, blessed with a “metaphysical sense” (Tomasz Tuszko), a lonesome “miraculous meteor” (Jerzy Busza). Two exhibitions were held after Jórczak’s death to commemorate his artistic practice and organisational activity “Andrzej Jórczak – 1944-1981” at Mała Galeria (1982), and “Kilka prac dla Andrzeja” (“A Couple of Works for Andrzej”) at Mała Galeria (1985) – homage paid to the artist by four of his friends. Andrzej Jórczak participated in more than a dozen individual and group shows: 1973: Otwieranie okna, Galeria Remont, Warsaw 1976: Contextual Art, Galerie St. Petri, Lund, Sweden 1977: Stany graniczne fotografii, Katowice 1977: Fotografia medium sztuki, Wrocław 1977: Międzynarodowa Konferencja “Sztuka jako działanie w kontekście rzeczywistości”, Galeria Remont, Warsaw 1978: Prześwit, Galeria Znak, Białystok 1979: Prześwit, Mała Galeria ZPAF-CSW, Warsaw 1979: Cierń i biel, Foto-Medium-Art (Ośrodek Kultury i Sztuki we Wrocławiu), Wrocław 1979: Od zera do nieskończoności, od nieskończoności do zera, Foto-Medium-Art (Ośrodek Kultury i Sztuki we Wrocławiu), Wrocław 1979-80: Polish Photography 1839-1979, Center of Photography, New York, and Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago 1980: Fotografia polska 1839-1979, Zachęta, Warsaw, and Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź 1980: Andrzej Jórczak: Zenit idea, Foto-Medium-Art (Ośrodek Kultury i Sztuki we Wrocławiu), Wrocław 1986: Polská fotografie 1955-1984, Uměleckoprůmyslové muzeum v Praze, Prague, Czechoslovakia 2010: Konceptualizm. Medium fotograficzne, Muzeum Miasta Łodzi 2011: Konzept Fotografie aus Polen, Berlin Freies Museum, Berlin 2011: Polska Fotografia Konceptualna, Miejski Ośrodek Sztuki – Galeria Sztuki Najnowszej and Galeria BWA, Gorzów Wielkopolski 2012: FOTOGRAFIA. Fragment kolekcji, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw