Freaks 2013. Waldemar Słowikowski. Vintage photography. Fine art.
Gołdap is a charming small SPA town in the North-East of Poland, in Warmia and Masuria region, near the Russian border. It is located in the historic land of Lithuania Minor. The former Szyłajty village received town privileges in 1570 from Duke Frederick Albert. The town has about fourteen thousand inhabitants. The name comes from the Old Prussian language, where Galdo meant a long valley and Ape – a river, which together signifies a “river in a valley”.
The town and the neighbourhood was the birthplace of many people whose story I try to present. Some of them are outstanding individuals: artists, craftsmen, entrepreneurs, mechanics, stonecutters, collectors, musicians, teachers, builders and many more. Most of them live in or are connected with Gołdap. The one feature that is common for all of them, regardless of materials status or level of intelligence, is fondness of alcohol.
This is a never-ending story. Because of the nature of the project, it lives its own life. The newcomers will write their own histories as well as that of the town itself. If they attract my attention, they will appear on the subsequent, now empty pages of the book of curious personalities of the town of Gołdap.
You are welcome to meet people whose behaviour and lifestyle is eccentric to say the least and sometimes quite shocking too.
GOŁDAP 28.05.2016. OLD GRANARY AT 10:30
The photographs had been taken a year before, I didn’t have a chance to stumble across Waldek when he was sober. I saw him in the centre of Gołdap, he was looking for somebody to help him cure his massive hangover, he was lucky, he bumped into me, we agreed to meet in a couple of minutes in the granary, in the meantime I went to fetch some alcohol …
During our meeting, he sips his remedy and I am ready to make notes … after a while he recovers and starts to tell his stories …
My name is Waldemar Słowikowski … I was born in Filipowo on 10th May 1961 into a large family, my brothers and sisters are: Andrzej born in 1962, Wiesława born in 1965, Helena born in 1966, Ewa born in 1968, Marzena born in 1970, Bogusia born in 1972, Danka born in 1974 and Krzysiek in 1978.
I was first …
Grandpa Aleksander was a blacksmith, he died in 1966. Grandma a tailor, father Walenty. After grandpa’s death my father inherited a plot of land in Gołdap – Konikowo and there he built a house made of reed, just in 4 days … I was 5 then …
The beginning of school 1968 – 3 years in primary school no. 3 in Gołdap, then 5 years in primary school no. 1 in Gołdap. I finished education in 1976. In 1978 I start working as a plumber in the local rural construction company Pbrol. In 1979 two years behind bars for physical assault, after release Voluntary Labour Corps for minors, I fix roofs as a carpenter.
1982, work in Gołdap’s Sports and Recreation Centre – renovating squad. In the same year I start secondary night school, three semesters completed. I didn’t finish, Mrs. Wrzosek didn’t let me pass, I say hello to her husband Rysiek to this day …
A call from Army Recruiting Command in Ełk to civil protection for two years. On the first day we arrived blind drunk and caused havoc, I tore off a police car’s muffler, I got really burnt “there were three of us” the Trinity they said, Me, Rysiek Szulik and Malecki Jarek
… after the army oath I was taken into custody for 67 days in Kawaleryjska in Białystok for drinking and some off-the-books jobs …
In Bielsk Podlaski I meet a girl, an adolescent, Lipska Dorota … “Oszin” we called her because of her somewhat Japanese look …
From Bielsk I am delegated to a unit in Węgorzewo, for a school of military leaders we would build jungle gyms, it was 1986, Tchernobyl as far as I remember …
In the meantime, my best friend Wacław Sypuła dies tragically, a goalkeeper and ski jumper … fatal electrocution … must have suffered as his hands were clenched and there was no one around to help … After the military I return to Gołdap, I work as a plumber and with my father we have a job in forest districts.
… we drank nonstop, each day … I worked for “Smędzik”, doing the facade of a new church.
After the oath I was sober for a year and I had my own renovating business, we did fences, we built, renovated …
My sister tried to matchmake me with Ania, but a neighbour – my friend, married her … girls never stuck with me for long, there was no time, I couldn’t afford a proper one and I couldn’t take just any girl …
… I drink and always will … I’m not going to save for a glass coffin …
Rex – my dog went on a binge, I took off his collar, when I was doing time, he was looking for me for three months … to earn for his food and fines for drinking …
Rex has been with me since my father?s death. He’s like my son, sleeps in the armchair …
Artwork framing is the most important part which decides about a work of art’s presentation and its exhibition value. There is conscious communication between the framing and a work of art, they complement each other and create the final visual effect of a photograph. A well thought-out choice of the right material gives a photograph a life of its own. Fine art photography which is intended for auction sale or exhibition, being not only an item of artistic value, but also of collector’s value, has to meet certain standards.
The wood used for making profiles has 8-12% of moisture content and usually is hardwood from beech, ash, alder, maple, oak, fruit trees or tropical trees. It is always the best quality timber, free of knots, sapstain or other defects. The wood I use for framing is usually seasoned in natural conditions for a few or more than ten years. Panels of wood, before they are milled, mature for a few weeks to prevent distortion of profiles. After obtaining a desired shape, the ready material is seasoned for another few weeks. A ready profile gets into my hands and the painstaking processing of each frame begins, one by one, for several months. Every frame is made with my own hands, thanks to this its uniqueness is exceptional. The material used to protect wood after processing is mostly oil. A photograph has no direct contact with the frame and glass.
Passe-partout is made of foam board which meets the requirements of ISO 90706 and has direct contact with the print, at the same time increasing its durability. ISO standards define requirements that have to be met by a product made from paper, so that it could have direct contact with print for many years. Passe-partout is a kind of packaging that protects the work of art.
ISO standards are as follows:
– acid-free quality – pH 7 minimum means the material is not acidic. Chemicals used in paper production, together with the environment pollution and climate cause acidification of paper, that is to say cellulose fibers are broken down making paper look yellowish and start to crack
-in order to make material more acid-free magnesium carbonate or calcium carbonate is added so-called buffer/alkaline reserve, according to the standards the content of a buffer should be between 3 to 5% – this is so-called durability.
-a vital factor in paper production is the choice of material that will be used for making the product. The standards require to use Alpha cellulose, material that has long and strong fibers. The material used for paper production doesn’t contain lignin. Thanks to high quality resources being used, no optical brighteners need to be added, which normally prevents efflorescence in paper.
-recycled material is not used in production.
A photograph is attached to a passe-partout only with an acid-free tape, durable, of 8,5 g/m2 with alkaline reserve. It has a natural, non-yellowing adhesive. If the passe-partout or the backing of a photograph has direct contact with the print, the acidic content will affect the cardboard. Thus, in order to keep the highest quality of a print, we use top quality foam board.
It’s also possible to frame a photograph in a UV glass. The main purpose of the glass it to physically protect a work of art against harmful factors such as: air humidity, temperature, dirt and scratching, and most importantly ultraviolet radiation.
– Waldemar Słowikowski
– author Fryderyk Danielczyk
– one of the series of works Freaks
– place – Gołdap
– limited edition 7 pcs
– number ?/7
– made from a negative
– original print, Baryte paper – black-and-white photography
– original frame made of beech Wood 8-12% of moisture content, covered with matte oil based on natural Chinese oils, natural wood colour, original imprint in the lower right corner
– backing made of acid-free cardboard – original imprint in the lower right corner
– passe-partout made of acid-free foam board, with neutral pH adhesive and alkaline buffer, durable, without any optical brighteners. The board meets the requirements of ISO 9706 and PAT (Photographic Activity Test) standards and has an obverse and reverse
– date of making the negative 2015
– date of making the print 2015
– original print 40,5 cm x 50,5 cm
– print doesn’t have direct contact with the glass and frame
– signed on the reverse with a pencil
– fine art photography
Waiting period for the order completion 14 days
The entire series is available at www.fryderykdanielczyk.com