It is easy to make pictures. You just take a camera in your hands. Point it somewhere. Push the button. Picture made. If your father was in front of the camera, you now have a portrait of him to remember him always, as he was that moment. That picture has therefore a purpose. It serves. It has a reason for existing. Now and for the future. However, the importance of that image is for the father’s relatives only. And when they have passed away, the picture becomes obscure and without purpose anymore.
A photographer like Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski is very intrigued by this phenomenon. The relevance of the images he makes. If he doesn’t feel that the image he makes serves a purpose, he is unable to proceed and actually shoot pictures. When he started his career, he loved so much to make pictures that he would photograph indiscriminately anything he was surprised by. In his vast archive are hundreds of pictures, maybe even thousands, made out of enthusiasm without further relevance.
But over the years his attitude has changed. Now the images he makes must be able to function in the different fields in which he presents his work.
The protocol has become that enthusiasm to make at a certain moment a picture is immediately followed by the thought what purpose that image might have. If no positive answer comes, the effort is not made. If it is believed the picture will find almost certainly an audience, the effort is made.
For stock photography, images that are sold through a stock agency to newspapers and magazines, this approach works very well.
For the photo projects, like “The most beautiful people in the world”, also.
But for the conceptual photography it is not a good protocol at all.
Because conceptual photography is experimental. Pioneering in photography. Getting into the unknown. Looking in the dark for some light. Whether the results find an audience should not be relevant. If that is tolerated as a factor, it stops the experiment. The tiger in the jungle or the tiger in the cage.
So, the courageous photographer needs to find motivation somewhere else. And should be able to let go and detach from expectations and predictions.
This summer, Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski, managed to have another breakthrough in his conceptual photography. The PS-series. Liberating himself from expectations, protocols, and dogmas and getting out of the cage, he made a whole new series of images.
He brought the new images to Paris to show them first to his art-dealer Baudoin Lebon. When Baudoin Lebon was seeing the new work, it could be noticed he was smiling. Which is exceptional and a sign the work was touching him. On the spot Baudoin Lebon called his frame-maker and ordered one of the images from the PS-series to be framed to show at the important fair Paris Photo.
More people saw the new work and were all pleasantly surprised and impressed.
The work made with no particularly destiny in mind found its destiny nevertheless and this is how it goes with art-photography contrary to more applied photography like stock photography.
Now, back in Mexico, Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski faces again the fact that he could continue working on his PS-series. He knows that if he did, great images will result again. And he realizes that it all depends of his mind-set. Dealing with his fears. His uncertainty. His courage. His inner balance. If he can get those all right, he will be able to make new work again.
That moment has not come yet. And it is unpredictable he will manage.