Distant Place

The ‘Distant Place’ exhibition was composed of photos taken by photographers from the Sputnik Photos association. It tells five stories about the contemporary image of a river in the centre of the city. Is the Vistula an abstract being to the people of Warsaw, or does it constitute a significant part of their identity?

One place. Five photographers. Twenty-three pictures.
Artists from the Sputnik Photos Association took photos of the Vistula. They focused on the same thirty-kilometre-long stretch of the river located in Warszawa. This resulted in five completely different photo-stories showing different spaces. This is what the Vistula is truly like: for some, it is a magical place or a refuge; for others, it is a rubbish pit and a place of rejected people and objects. Photographers create specific micro-worlds: they show little snippets, fragments of reality, leaving the interpretation to the audience. Here, you will not find landscapes, images of ships, beaches and bridges. In many photographs, you cannot see even a fragment of the river. It is a kind of metaphor. It inspires and connects all the works, which are at the same autonomous and form a coherent whole.

Sputnik Photos is an international group consisting of photographers from Central and Eastern Europe. Members of the association have won numerous awards in news photography competitions, such as World Press Photo, Pictures of the Year International and the Canon AFJ Female Photojournalist Award.

The curator of the exhibition is Barbara Stauss – the editor of the prestigious Mare Magazine dedicated to photographic reportage and essays. Until this day, she runs the magazine and is responsible for its photographic concept. She also works as a photo editor and university lecturer. She is involved in various projects, such as the German edition of Reporters Without Borders.

The organiser and the authors of the project wish to thank those who in a special way contributed to the realisation of the exhibition, and namely to:

  • Municipal Water and Sewerage Company in the capital city of Warszawa
  • Regional Water Management Authority – Vistula River Basin Authority in Masovia
  • water engineering company Przedsiębiorstwo Budownictwa Wodnego w Warszawie S.A.
  • "Ja Wisła" Foundation
  • Museum of the Earth of Polish Academy of Sciences
  • Medical University of Warsaw
  • District Prosecutor’s Office for Warszawa–Praga Północ
  • River Police Department in Warszawa
  • AGP Metro Polska S.C.
  • Przedsiębiorstwo Produkcyjno-Handlowe Piaskarz S.A.


Sputnik Photos:

Agnieszka Rayss,
Jan Brykczyński,
Michał Łuczak,
Rafał Milach,
Adam Pańczuk

Where and when?

Pavilion 512 

6 July – 9 September 2012