Monika Orpik (PL)
MONIKA ORPIK is a visual artist, born in 1997, Poland. Her work stands at the intersection of contemporary art, research and social practice. Orpik’s methodology involves working with specialists across various disciplines e.g. composers, anthropologists and linguists to allow for a space of interaction and exchange of knowledge. Orpik’s research focuses on unnamed things, moments undepicted in images and the collapse of meaning caused by the use of inadequate language. She’s interested in stories often omitted from mainstream historical records and the misuse of classification processes that impacts the narrative gaps. Orpik investigates methods to describe experiences often named as those unspeakable or unspoken within the subject of war, violence and trauma. She works with photography, book making, text and sound.
She is currently pursuing MA in Photography at Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg. She holds a BA in Photography from London College of Communication.
2023 Futures Photography - Der Greif nomination (NL)
2022 Honourable Mention - Hariban Award 2022 (JP)
2021 Shortlisted for TIFF Open Festival, Wrocław (PL)
2020 Shortlisted Best Portfolio at PhotoMatch Fotofestival, Łódź (PL)
2019 Photoworks UK - Graduate Award for Manual of Participation (UK)
+ Czech Republic
2018 Cross Attick, Prague
2018 Espacio Fidencia, Mexico City
2018 Balkan Spatial Perspective, Ferrara
Stepping Out Into This Almost Empty Road (2022)
Exploring the region of the Polish-Belarusian border, the book looks at the moment of change when the most idyllic scenario becomes a horror of a political regime. From picking apples in the orchard to tear gas on the street, it combines photographic material and texts that revolve around the permanent in-between state that is inseparable from the notion of migration.
The Square of Freedom (2021)
A cultural and educational place in Warsaw dedicated to Belarusian community, where they can organise language classes, concerts or exhibitions. It’s the first informal activity as such undertaken in Poland. The informal pin on the map that marks the location of the Square is the sculpture Ў, a form of the Belarusian character that distinguishes the Belarusian alphabet from other alphabets of the East Slavic group.
Manual of Participation (2019)
The work reveals the diachronic timeline of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The viewer gets an insight of how someone born in Bosnia and Herzegovina recognises time. The chronological line is broken into pieces, scattered before, during and after the Balkan War in the 90s. The ones who lived those chapters, or still are immersed in them, might name the three times as : “the time of organised sacrifice”, “time before the end”, and “time of hope”. The decomposition of chronology makes the experience of people from Bosnia more familiar to the viewer, and most importantly reveal how the community there, or any community can grow strong together and, on the other hand, segregate and isolate each other easily due to political power struggle.
Blue Zone (2019)
A series of cyanotypes showing the remains of the concentration camps Gusen in Austria. Operating since 1940, it was the first and biggest subsidiary camp of Mauthausen, called by many Germans "the extermination camp for the Polish Intelligentsia." Prussian Blue, the synthetic pigment that gives cyanotypes their distinctive hue, is a chemical by-product of hydrogen cyanide or "prussic acid" which was used in Nazi German concentration camps during World War II to kill en masse as part of their genocide program.