At Media City Seoul 2010

Polonia and Other Fables (2009)

photo series

Seoul Museum of Art, Gallery 1-B

Artist Profile

Born 1951; Lives and works in Los Angeles

Over the last thirty years as a practicing artist, Allan Sekula has created poignant critiques on the social realities of globalization using the language of documentary photography. His works describe, in his own words, “the imaginary and material geographies of the advanced capitalist world.”

If his monumental work Fish Story documents the material geography of maritime space and labor within global capital dynamics, his new project Polonia and Other Fables focuses on the imaginary geography of the diasporic zone of migrated and expatriated Poles. Working between Chicago and Warsaw, Sekula’s 40-some photographs examines the social impact of global economics within Chicago’s rich labor history and its significant Polish immigrant population. Linking the two cities though the history of migration, his own family’s history, and the social and economic conditions of contemporary Chicago. Sekula builds an imaginary collectivity between a population radically displaced by history and culture. As such, his work moves from mere documentation to postulating a narrative that conjures historical memory and social engagement.


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