Magda Hueckel’s exhibition of theatre photography is a kind of appendix to or extension of the HUECKEL/THEATRE photobook. This is a tale of the body subject to a radical experience, immersed in suffering, pushed to its limits; a body broken into pieces, immobilised, frozen, stripped of identity. A body post-climax, immediately becoming a broken-down body. These images trigger an affective mode of reception, situating us on the side of pain and the collapse of identity. But they are also a source of aesthetic pleasure. They say: look how appealing the suffering body can be. This contains a germ of the narcissistic masochism of contemporary culture, the beautiful depression of those who have not achieved what they imagine to be their ideal selves.

HUECKEL/THEATRE is integrally linked to the photographer’s work, picking up and developing themes present in her projects. At the same time, it proves that photographing the theatre, keeping to one’s duties to document art, can still involve autonomous creativity. The exhibition speaks as much about the language of contemporary theatre as it does about contemporary culture.

“Never as a viewer have I seen so much, so precisely, from so near. Never have I been so much in the centre of events on stage. And not without cause, as Hueckel mingles with the actors, amid the action, in a place where I will never go. In these photographs there is an overwhelming feeling of reportage, but not that to which we have become accustomed—a new, different one: street photography shifted to the black box of the theatre, collecting everything that life brings, enjoying the light found in the canyons of the streets, surprised by faces caught in a grimace. Therefore, looking at Hueckel’s photos not as realisation of a commission, a craftswoman fulfilling her contract (documenting what is important in such a way as for it to remain recognisable and give the play a longer life), I perceive in them an intrinsic duration based on the pleasure of observation. This is no better or worse than the duration of the show that she documented, but simply different, as it is based on different rules. Her photos now belong solely to the world of visual arts, top-class documentary photography. The form—regardless of the theatrical material she is dealing with—is her own.”

Wojciech Nowicki, Exposure (curatorial text from the HUECKEL/THEATRE photobook)

Exhibition partner: The Zbigniew Raszewski Theatre Institute
Media partner: Radio Zet Chilli


Magda Hueckel – visual artist, theatre photographer, set designer, traveller. Graduated from the Faculty of Painting and Graphic Design of the Fine Arts Academy in Gdańsk, and has been awarded scholarships by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage and the City of Sopot. Her passions are visual arts, theatre photography, stage design, and travels. Her work has been exhibited at dozens of exhibitions in Poland and around the world (including Piekary Gallery in Toruń, Tate Britain in London, Fotohuset in Kristiansand, and La(b) Galerie Artyfact in Paris). In 2013 her photobook Anima. Pictures from Africa 2005–2013 was published, nominated the following year for the Photographic Publication of the Year Award, and in 2015 her photobook HUECKEL/TEATR was published. She has worked on film projects with Tomasz Śliwiński as a scriptwriter and camera operator. Their documentary Our Curse was nominated for an Oscar Academy Award in 2015, and won prizes at numerous international festivals.


Henryk Gallery
ul. Wrzesińska 4/1


20.05.2017, 6.30 p.m.


Mon-Sun, Tue 12 p.m.–8 p.m.


Free admission