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1995 – Włodzimierz Kunz -  „ Reminiscences from the distant past “

1995 – Adam Brincken -  „Echo of the presence”
2005 – Roman Lewandowski -  „This is not about blood“

1995 - Włodzimierz Kunz - "Reminiscences from the distant past"

The paintings by Izabella Pajonk, as I perceive them, draw upon the reminiscences from the distant past, from another epoch. The shape of the composition, the surface as well as the topic testify to very personal and perhaps even mysterious contact of the author with her visions.

The paintings can be perceived in different ways, as pure matter and an interesting workshop,

or a complex world of meanings that evoke the need of participating in the mystery suggested

by the painter. When you listen really attentively, you can discover in these pictures the presence of the music of whispers and murmurs.

prof. Wlodzimierz Kunz
Cracow, 1995

1995 - Adam Brincken - "Echo of the presence"

It is an extraordinary pleasure to enter the paintings of Izabella Pajonk by listening to them,

an even greater pleasure - by reading them, and still a greater pleasure - by looking into them.

To enter by listening and looking, to feel the trace, the sign, the shadow, the echo of the presence,

the transitoriness which remains.

White, silver and blue, or warm, ochre and gold paintings are full of touches, of the presence of foregrounds and distances which may be small or vast, which blend and harmonise.

The 'echo of the presence' sometimes can be discovered: it is delicately accentuated by the changing temperature of the colour or by the flatness of the patch, a remnant of a man's silhouette, or more exactly, his shadow.


The paintings are full of music and poetry just because of the manner in which so many means of expression meet in them.

Those 'instruments and those words' tell us about an extraordinary person, who also in her written declarations, in the harmonious encounter of the multiplicity of the poetic voices, in the reflection on the sources of her own painting managed - among the 'tangle of confused thoughts and incomprehensible feelings' and, let me add, in the tangle of the contemporaneity, of the here and now - to arrest us all, to give us back our breath in order to reach inside in a different way, or at least to give us a chance.

prof. Adam Brincken
Cracow, 1995

2005 - Roman Lewandowski - "This is not about blood"

Izabella Pajonk is an artist who cyclically travels around the world.

The trails of her tours lead from Silesia and Cracow’s Kazimierz, through Italy and Near East, as far as distant India and Nepal. On every route she is accompanied by her inseparable diary – a camera, with the use of which she records, creates and stimulates traces, whose processed image can be found in

her digital diary,

in oil painting and notes published here and there. You can also see them in paper and online journals, books,

as well as Polish and foreign galleries.

Works of Izabella Pajonk function as integral entities, at times forming larger visual and quasi-literary cycles (e.g. “In quest of mandala”, “Vivere”, “Laterna magica in a labyrinth with arcades”, “Singer”) and the textual caption itself is not – which is essential – a commentary, but one of the elements of artistic activity.

Izabella Pajonk's artistic oeuvre concentrates on the bonds and scars of the visible world,

which become apparent in mandalic rhythms, textures of mossy plasters or in the binder in chiaroscuro. It would be a mistake to see in these works the climate and masterly created mood.

Blurring of the contours, deformations or, at times, similarly to Michael Ackerman’s, subjective way

of documenting reality and finally the way of framing itself are not – obviously – her licentia poetica.

They are an excerpt of a game played with the language of photography, but also with its... audience, presented by Izabella Pajonk with a description of a world filtrated not only by a reflex camera,

but first of all by her own “mirror”. The mirror that everyone of us carries in front of ourselves.

“Vivere”, which is the title of Izabella Pajonk’s most recent exhibition, means, when translating from Italian “to live”. Watching the photographs and reading the whole presented cycle, you can reach

the conclusion that “vivere” also means “to live intensively”. To push your way with your arms spread wide up, as we can see that in the work entitled “Run-Man-Rain”. The steps lead however to the Inside and Outside. If you look at the photos even more carefully, you cannot help but get the impression that this “opening” is in fact a gesture of opening slightly or closing. Intimacy shown here is a subject

for borrowing and visual ciselure, which results in experiencing the distance towards the world and

the model. Above all, it is displayed through the light effects – artificial light, similarly to iconostasis.

It is not changed even by the fact, that the photographs from the “Vivere” exhibition were taken in Bologna, Milan and Genua. The author clearly (and it seems rightly) did not want to become part of

the subject of “Italian light”, dense with symbolic connotations, which she replaced with significant colouring of her works. Almost in every frame, from everywhere and nowhere a gleam assuming all sorts of degrees of saturation with ochre, “fall” on people and objects. That colour – as everybody knows – has got alchemic connotations, and its intensivity is the product of oxidation. In the “Vivere” cycle there is something from that change, and the dynamics of the tension of the images undoubtedly relate to the context of Inside and Outside.

Thus from one hand the photographs visualise emotions and trance states, which the portrayed people are overpowered with. And though they become entangled in a game (either a play or enacted loneliness), you can get the impression that everything in that world takes place on a “trapeze”,

between art, life and death. Although you can find there some concealed eroticism, it is depicted however by the form, rather than the contents. Despite some superimposed dramatic tension Izabella Pajonk does not turn to drastic means. Thus “guts” of the show do not scare the – in these photos we will not find blood, discharge or any derivatives of decomposition, which have become a good way

for works to be published in “photography” magazines.

From the other hand, the world of “Vivere” is immersed in permanent flash, which seems to be an inner emanation, abyssal even, and which is surprising – evocation coming “from” the artist. Hence it is not hard to guess, that Izabella Pajonk portrayed, above all, herself (her own “mirror”), and then she took up accidentality of “aura” (articulated in the gesture and recipe of the “mirror” of the show).

The latter context – of aura and peculiar “aurality” – which for some audience may seem a leading leitmotif of the works is at the same time a distinction and circumstantial evidence.

Aura, as the probably leading narration of the cycle “Vivere”, serves a double function – it refers to contextual visual clichés, but also remains a kind of internal punctum of the photos. Her discourse leads through the incidentality of light, which Izabella Pajonk surrounds herself with, and which “radiates” from the language in which her works speak to us.

If we come back to the representation, if we try for a moment to bother about disinheritance and loneliness, scenery of deserted streets and interiors, as well as the net of frosted sky, on which you can search in vain for the sun, stars and the moon (there is something here from stifling atmosphere which can be observed in the works of Nan Goldin), it is going to turn out soon that everything in this world

is a part of a spectacle. It is taking place on a plane of anecdote, but at the same time it becomes apparent in the structure of the photography itself. Dramatization concerns both the way of showing

the portrayed and the style of portraying. The world of “cosmetics” of the world is here articulated

by the nature of a mask and masking. That is an extremely elaborate web, which the author uses

to wrap around broad sweeps of the represented world. A man running in the rain, cobblestones

or the lamp hanging on wires are not individualized. A detail constructed by the artist is submerged

in ochre mist, becoming a partition of eternity, which stretches “here and now”. Similarly the time undergoes a state of limbo or “softening”. Even the clock does not show its passage, being a mere prop in the enacted scenes.

Instead of authenticity and documentalism – “buskin” becomes apparent in this world.

It is built, like in De Chirico – by scenography of passageways, large columns, rotten façades, shady gates and backstreets, whose architecture is as if early evening singing of soft geometry.

Although Izabella Pajonk depicts enclaves of a city and shreds of sky, they are not elements of open spaces, but paragraphs of the author’s “text”. All the corridors and interiors lead to the author.

Hence exhibitionism of these works is expressed by their sophisticated mannerism, which can offend

or .... fascinate.

In “Vivere” the world has got only surface telluric dimension. Its axes run in various directions and differentiate themselves, although the artist's “fountain pen” writes with clearly marked ink. Because –

in fact – it is writing the subject. In its identity matter there are hidden emotions as well as the function of “writing” photography. At the same time this somewhat post-modernist ruse follows a very modernist convention.

Graffiti on the walls, digits on the clockface of a huge clock, gesticulation of people walking along

the street – they are all letters, words and sentences set in a visual cut. Let us not however be deluded by narration of melancholic worlds moistened with illusion of drowsy carnival. Oneirism and isolationism function here as mantras, as clatter of prayer wheels which Izabella Pajonk used to play with on her tours in the Far East. They obviously echo the time of travelling. Erudition of the artist may be tiring or discouraging. In order to revive the world created by her, you should change the style

of reading and “enter” the reality of carnival, in which not fitting the real and visibility is at stake,

but challenging its status. This is not about blood, but copperplate engraving of body, sky, stone…

Roman Lewandowski

Cracow, 2005

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