Photographs and their arrangement in the publication: Magda Hueckel
Texts: Marika Kuźmicz, Wojciech Nowicki, Magda Hueckel & Tomasz Śliwiński
Graphic design and typesetting: Ryszard Bienert
Publisher: Galeria Piekary / Verbum Sp. z o.o., Poznań
Format: 17,5 x 23 cm (width x height)
Anima. Images from Africa is an album with photographs by Magda Hueckel, a personal and intimate tale of the Journey.
The images it contains depict a reality seen from the perspective of a Stranger who, penetrating into the alien, incomprehensible world, tries to find the universal truths about life, death, rebirth and change. The attempt to enter the invisible dimension of spirituality and immortality takes place through exploration of the images of emptiness, of abandoned, forsaken and ruined places which mingle with the representations of organic structures, decaying animal matter and hallowed artefacts. The series stems from the fascination of the Authoress with primitive beliefs, the cult of nature, the rites of animist religions, including voodoo rituals. However, this is not an ethnographic study – the black and white images do not permit one to identify places, which makes the idea superior to the reality that is captured. The sequence of photographs in the catalogue has been devised as a story provided with titles, a tale which on the one hand emphasizes the impact of a single photograph while on the other reveals its additional content, which results from the reference to the entire set – united by the well-thought-out concept, arranged in a specific order and context. Consequently, as Wojciech Nowicki observes: “ […] in the Anima series, photography is something else still, a material, a building block, clay, a medium borrowed for purposes going beyond documentation. The authoress, quite offhandedly, departs from the natural sequence of events, opting for her own sequence instead – because Anima is a photography-based architecture of a memory, a memory of events that had never been. The images are like blocks. In the hands of the artist (narrator) the assembly kit may yield a castle, a road, a person or a soul. […] Anima encourages, compels one to seek, but does not promise that the path will be a straightforward one. And, as it happens with mature images, there are more possibilities here than one would wish. In the realm of death the soul thrives, one desires to touch it, but not everyone will be given that chance.”
The album has been supplemented with texts by Marika Kuźmicz (“Anima”) and Wojciech Nowicki (“Decay of the Body, Luxuriance of the Soul”),
as well as personal notes of the artist and her husband, Tomasz Śliwiński, which they both took down in the course of their journey.
There is also an index of the photographs, providing short description of places where the picture was taken and the dates.
Photographs were taken in 2005-2013 during the numerous trips of Magda Hueckel and Tomasz Śliwiński to the following countries:
Algeria, Benin, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Mali, Morocco, South Africa, Rwanda, Senegal, Swaziland, Tanzania and Uganda.