Joanna Piotrowska’s uncomfortable album, a series of staged family shots, insists upon the fundamental anxiety at the heart of the family: its system of relationships that are equally oppressive and rewarding. Piotrowska asked her family subjects to pose in almost sculptural gestures, re-enacting moments of intimacy and tenderness. Influenced by the philosophy of the German psychotherapist Bert Hellinger, she integrated movements and gestures from Hellinger’s therapeutic method Family Constellations, which attempts to expose and heal multi-generational trauma. FROWST is concluded by a sentence known from feature films: “All characters appearing in this work are fictitious.” It is definitely the realm of contemporary art, rather than photography that acts as a natural reference point for this outstanding project. Photography, which takes here a form that is far from documentary, serves the formation of a thought-out and full-bodied work bordering on psychology, choreography, performance, and post-conceptual practices.
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