One of the major accompanying events of the fest is a thrilling exhibition of photograps by Krzysztof Ptak at 1112 Gallery of the Society for Arts (1112 N. Milwaukee Ave,Chicago). One of the best Polish cinematographers, Krzysztof Ptak died prematurely last year. His impressive professional resume includes such outstanding pictures as Papusza, Afonia and Bees, Jasminum, Myj Nikifor, Edi, Miss Nobody, History of the Cinema in popielawy, 300 Miles to Heaven. His last movie which he left unfinished was Birds Are Singing in Kigali. He was also teaching in the Lodz Film School where together with his students he exectued hundreds of etudes and short films. Ptak was one of pioneers of digital technology in Poland, a respected expert in color correction and postproduction.
During an interview, when asked what he loves most about cinema, Krzysztof Ptak answered: “A mystery.” Preparing his retrospective photo exhibition coming back to this answer time and time again was unavoidable. Krzysztof was economical with his words but a visual language was for him a space of endless experimentation and discovery. He became a cinematographer actually by coincidence. Back then the Lodz Film School where he started his studies did not offer a photography course and it was photography that was his first love. Although perhaps those who say there are no coincidences are right.
The exhibited photos recall the spirit of the turn of the sixties and seventies. For Krzysztof Ptak it was a time of searching for his own language, shaping his artistic awareness. The negatives have been lying around at our home for over forty years and survived more than one move. We were retrieving them from the family archive so that they could become one more testimony to Krzysztof’s exceptional presence.
The writer Tadeusz Lowicki used to say that film is exposed on both sides – on the one side by the light reflected from the photographed object and on the other side by the personality and sensitivity of the photographer. Krzysztof Ptak’s photographs show the world through the eyes of an artist who loves life in all its beauty and drama, who respects humanity and who is ceaselessly seeking the Great Mystery.
The photographs have been selected by Aneta Ptak-Rufino, the artist’s daughter, who also prepared the texts with Malgorzata Ptak, wife of the author.
On Thursday, November 10th at 8:30 PM. in Gallery Theatre a documentary film THEY CALLED HIM PTASZEK directed by Aneta-Ptak Rufino will be shown along with Michal Bukojemski’s HALINA PASZKOWSKA. IN MEMORIAM. The screening is free and open to the public thanks to a generosity of Ms. Joanna Turska.
The exhibition will open on November 4th, and will continue until December 4, 2017.