I like you, I like you a lot is a personal work about family and the experience of death and mourning. It responds to the tragic loss of the photographer’s 13-year-old brother Maks, who drowned while on a scout’s trip in 2008 in Poland. The images show the sequence of events in the aftermath of the tragedy. The camera became a shield protecting against the brutal reality of a helpless situation. The deceased brother and his closest friends formed a small group. Dressed in uniforms of American soldiers, they would play in Silesian landscapes reminiscent of paintings by Caspar David Friedrich. Communism ended in 1990 when Poland opened its borders to a flood of Western products and ideals. Maks and his friends were the first generation to grow up under that changing culture. The camera witnesses how they were enthralled by Western and especially American archetypes.
We learn from the text of Olivier Richon: “Kafka and Friedrich have been called upon as cultural off frames that inform my reading of “I like you, I like you a lot”, opening and closing the visual narrative in the manner of two book ends. A writer and a painter, both from central Europe. Here, photography is a narrative form predicated upon the restful silence of images – the silence of a crypt. It is a reliquary of sorts that uses the camera as a container that preserves images. The photographs are these visual relics that articulate an aesthetic and emotional relation to loss. They follow a structure of disavowal, what Freud called Verleugnung, which achieves a compromise wherein the memory of the departed is conserved and abandoned. To accept the verdict of reality and yet to maintain a belief in the existence of the departed through the photograph as a relic. The photograph as a relic is a frozen moment reminiscent of the arrested motion of baroque art, an art that flourished in Silesia. But these photographs are not just relics, they are also works of art with a haunting off frame.”
The book was published with texts by Thomas Frangenberg (1957 – 2018), who is not only a specialist for renaissance paintings and sculpture but also a collector of conceptual art, and Olivier Richon (born 1956), a Swiss photographer residing in London. He is a Professor at the Royal College of Art.
About - Alicja Dobrucka (b. 1985 in Poland) is a photographer based in London and Mumbai. In 2010, she received the coveted Deutsche Bank Fine Art Award and Grant for Photography. In 2016, she received the INPHA Award from Manifest in Ohio. She has exhibited internationally, and her work is in collections such as the Wienerberger Collection, Vienna, the Krakow Museum of Photography, the Paul Smith Collection, London, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Beijing, China, and the Space118 Collection, Mumbai. www.alicjadobrucka.com
I like you, I like you a lot by Alicja Dobrucka . Texts by Thomas Frangenberg, Olivier Richon . Design by Alicja Dobrucka & Kehrer Design (Anja Aronska) . Hardcover with a dust jacket . 19.2 x 24 cm . 128 pages, 61 color ills., English . ISBN 978-3-86828-946-6 . EUR 38.00