Marta Zgierska was born 1987, in Lublin, Poland. She holds MFA in Photography (The Leon Schiller National Film, Television and Theatre School), MA in Theatrology and MA in Journalism. She lives in Warsaw, where she develops her artistic projects. She is interested in trauma studies and a process of withdrawal. Her work was exhibited at Photokina (Cologne, Germany), Malmo Fotobiennal (Sweden), Fotofestiwal (Lodz, Poland), DongGang International Photo Festival (Yeongwol, South Korea), TIFF Festival (Wroclaw, Poland). Her series “Post” has been selected for the Circulation(s) Festival in Paris presenting most interesting young photographers from Europe. In 2015 she was named one of Lens Culture’s Top 50 Emerging Talents. In 2016 she won one of the most prestigious photography awards – Prix HSBC pour la Photographie.
In 2013, I survived a serious car accident. I was close to death, and reality – one that I had been adapting to with difficulty – slipped through my fingers. This misfortune brought about another: surgeries, months of physical limitations, a breakup, and the return and aggravation of anxiety neurosis.
Not long before the accident, I had found in my family home a teacher’s descriptive feedback from the time I was a seven-year-old, exemplary student. I am still one in my adult life. However, despite the opinion of others, my limitations, shame and anxiety are still teeming inside me. I started taking the first photographs as a way of incantation of fear in an aesthetic image. The accident brought my work to a halt. My mind was filling up with fragmentary memories, and sharp, detached details. My own physicality and pain became a source of images that felt more and more substantial and bodily as time passed.
“Post” is a project about trauma, frozen in dead greyness, silence and tension. Everyone can find their own punctures here – exhausting dreams, fears, obsessions. An individual way of discovering a twin traumatic memory in another person, “Post” is an attempt at intimate contact which closes the past non-experience in the present.
“Descriptive evaluation of the primary school student
Class I, the first semester
Pupil Marta Zgierska is talented, conscientious and hard-working. During lessons she is very active and focused. She has large vocabulary and knowledge. She is able to build a coherent, complex statement, correct in terms of material and grammar. She reads fluently and expressively. She writes esthetically and accurately in terms of language and spelling.
She is fluent in mental arithmetic. She solves simple and more complex text exercises. She can apply practically knowledge she acquires. She is interested in phenomena occurring in nature, she knows their causes and effects.
She shows extensive interests and talents. She has good manners. She is friendly and liked by other children.
The Teachers’ Board, 19th January, 1995
The exhibition of Prix HSBC pour la Photographie 2016 will run until June 18th in Galerie Esther Woerdehoff in Paris.
“Post” is also published as a book by Aces Sud. The official book launch will take place in July, during Les Rencontres d’Arles.
To see more of Marta’s photographs, please visit her website.