Józef Robakowski

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Born February 20, 1939(1939-02-20)
Poznań, Poland
Lives in Łódź, Poland
Web Culture.pl, Wikipedia-PL
Collections Arton 20, MoMA Warsaw 13, Pompidou 5, ZKM 3, Kontakt (Vienna) 3, CSW Toruń 2, Zachęta 2, MS Łódź 1, Mocak Kraków 1, MSW Szczecin 1

Józef Robakowski (1939, Poznań) is a Polish artist and filmmaker associated with the avant-garde film movement of the 1960s and 1970s.

Józef Robakowski earned a degree in museum studies and art history at Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń and majored in direction of photography at the Film School in Łódź where he also lectured between 1970 and 2018 and ran, inter alia, the Multimedia Laboratory. His artistic practices develop around film, photography, and other visual media. Since the late 1950s he has practiced photography, experimenting with the technologies of the medium, creating objects and photo installations.

Robakowski’s preoccupation with the context effect of perception and with the potential of photographic representation is reflected in a series of analytical and conceptual works from the 1970s. In the 1980s he produced photographic series by taking pictures of TV images. In recent years he has been creating monumental compositions of his own images available on the Internet collectively referred to as ‘Fotomania’ and mental multimedia archives titled ‘The Pulse of Facebook’. Since the early 1960s Józef Robakowski has been engaged in making experimental films. His seminal analyses of film structures of the 1970s belong to the classics of structural cinema. In the 1980s, using, inter alia, video technique he developed the concept of “his own cinema” based on original, often autobiographical recordings, and registered performative practices. At the same time, he was pursuing a critical thread connected with media politics and the mechanisms of ideologically motivated viewer manipulation on mass media. Video and film documentation material focused on contemporary art and its avant-garde traditions is an important part of his artistic practice.

Robakowski co-founded artistic collectives engaged in experimental practices, such as, e.g., Oko (Eye, 1960), STKF Pętla (Loop, 1960-1966), Zero-61 (1961-1969), and Krąg (Circle, 1965-1967). He was also the co-founder of Warsztat Formy Filmowej (Film Form Workshop, 1970-1977) and Telewizyjna Grupa Twórcza Stacja Ł (TV Creative Group Station Ł, 1991-1992). Since 1978 he has been running Galeria Wymiany (Exchange Gallery; established together with Małgorzata Potocka) in Łódź as a private gallery of present art, the aim of which is exchanging artistic thoughts, provoking creative initiatives. The gallery collects films, videotapes, documentation, it also produces video films and was a contact office for the international artistic movement Infermental. Robakowski is an initiator of a number of artistic events, a publisher, and author of texts and publications. He lives and works in Łódź. (2020)


Experimental short films and videos[edit]

Cycles of photographs[edit]

  • Foto-malarstwo, 1958-1967.
  • Fotografia astralna, 1972-2002.
  • Kąty energetyczne, 1975-2004.
  • Czeluście, 1978.
  • Termogramy, 1998-2000.

Installations and objects[edit]

  • Autoportret przestrzenny, 1969.
  • Krzesło, 1970.
  • Rolki, 1970.
  • Równoważnia dźwiękowa, obiekt interaktywny, 1972.
  • Pan Jeleń, auto videoepitafium, 1990-1994.
  • Kiner I i Kiner II, 1992-2004.

Documentary films about art[edit]

  • Portret Tymona Niesiołowskiego, 1970.
  • Żywa Galeria, 1974/1975.
  • Witkacy, 1980.
  • Konstrukcja w Procesie, 1981-1982. From the cycle Uderzenie Sztuki: portrety telewizyjne - Wacław Szpakowski.
  • Katarzyna Kobro.
  • Władysław Strzemiński.





See also[edit]