Joanna Szproch

Field: Photography City: Wrocław

During her two-week residency in Wrocław, Joanna Szproch was making a photo edition of a photo book. It is an authored project of a photographer, which she created over the last decade in cooperation with her muse and friend Patrycja (#smilefomedaddy). The aim of the visit was an attempt to match the photographic materials to the context of the visual journey that the photographer made between Warsaw and Berlin over many years.

Joanna Szproch is an artist active in the field of photography and a lecturer. After graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts in Łódź with a Master of Arts degree in 2004, she returned to Warsaw, where she worked on international commercial and artistic projects, developing her own distinctive style. In 2012 she moved to Berlin and redirected her practice to a path full of authenticity and freedom from tradition. She photographs for both printed magazines and designers, she cooperates with many Berliner artists. Last year, together with Agata Ciastoń and Mateusz Czyczerski, she co-created the "BODYWHOLENESS" project implemented under the BERLIN_cultural forum_WROCŁAW initiated by Convivium Berlin e.V., Kulturzug / Train to culture and Culture Zone Wrocław in cooperation with TIFF Center and GLOGAUair

Artist about project #SMILEFOMEDADDY:

"This is a story about coming out of our shells, discovering our femininity and maturing along the way. It is a visual journey somewhere between Warsaw and Berlin, full of nuances and vibrant colours. A story told with the help of spontaneously arranged situations, born out of metaphors and associations. It is governed by intuition and emotions, with no intention to preach or instruct anyone, but rather to awaken imagination and encourage you to find a part of yourself in it.

Patrycja and I got to know each other when we were both making important life decisions. She was facing a choice of the course of her studies, and I was moving from Warsaw to Berlin. Initially, she charmed me with her beauty, and the fact that she could change in front of the lens like a chameleon. However, it was not just her appearance that inspired me almost to the point of obsession (which drove such a long-lasting collaboration). When I got to know Patrycja better, it turned out that our girlish fantasies converge and that we can recreate them together. It is almost like a fairy tale therapy, giving us a chance to face own shame and discover our bodies. A body is like a temple of the senses and sexuality, it contains all our primal fears and desires; our ability to be free, to live in harmony with ourselves and experience joy. In order to live fully, we must give ourselves permission to desire and crave. Too often this is forbidden.

I’m also trying to find out where this obsession of mine came from. I don't have a clear answer to that, but I know it dates back to my childhood. My main driving force has always been my curiosity and ability to observe, as well as great imagination, which I have been losing with age because of limits imposed by norms. I try to revive it, confront the myths of childhood, which shaped me and then somewhere along the way subconsciously guided me. I am taming my demons and trying to turn them into laughing goblins."