The Pol-Betrieb zone is the name of the central part of the DAG Fabrik Bromberg, the largest – in terms of area – munitions factory of the Third Reich, active in the years 1939-1945 near Bydgoszcz. Here, Germans produced gunpowder and nitroglycerin for the needs of their military operations, using the work of thousands of prisoners, prisoners of war and forced labourers. Nowadays, the buildings of the Pol-Betrieb zone are in a state of complete ruin, systematically appropriated by the capricious nature, tramps and scrap collectors, but it is still an extraordinary place, dark, mysterious and dangerous, where, with a little imagination, you can feel the spirit of the Goethe’s King of the Elves. And, although now the buildings are on the verge of collapse, interiors reek of damp emptiness, and old paint flakes in patches from the dirty walls, one can feel there an elusive atmosphere of sadness, a specific aura of the traces of past life.
The leitmotif of this series of photographs is a window. Windows as both a form and a tool; because in its essence it is an instrument inviting light to the interior and also the link with the surrounding space, a symbolic gateway between worlds. It opens and closes the space, making it possible to be both inside and outside. This place, as well as the rectangular form enclosed in a narrative composition, inspired me to reflect on the dramatic piece of our history, the passing of not only life, which is obvious, but above all human memory. This decadent landscape forces us to reflect on the unpredictable paths of human lives, the splinters of which, minor evidence of presence, can still be found there. I would like to show the peaceful nostalgia of a place that is slowly dying, alone and in silence, at the same time giving it new life through photography. I want to get the audience to travel, move into other worlds which are secret and not simple. I’m looking for poetry and humanity, not only illustrating simple facts with this medium, but above all presenting my own relationship to the world.
Anna Hetman

curator of the exhibition – Elżbieta Kantorek

opening of the exhibition: 16.05.2014, 6pm
exhibition open until 14.06.2014

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