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Expanding Photography – Flusser and Polish Intermedia Photography

The essay explores the reasons for the popularity of Vilém Flusser’s ideas on media and history in Polish photography at the end of 20th century. Flusser’s concepts fit perfectly into the thinking about photographic images, which in the 1990s became the leading trend in Central and Eastern Europe. The philosopher’s comments on the “creative gesture” of the photographer, the concept of the universe of technical images, and, above all, the freedom of the artist found a positive response among artists whose art originated in conceptual, performative and “expanded photography” approaches, and created a good foundation for cooperation between artists and academics. Such approaches towards photography gave rise to intermedia photography, which expanded the boundaries of the medium, drawing attention to its formal and socio-cultural context. Furthermore, the paper focuses on photographical case studies by two Polish artists who actively employed Flusser’s vision of media in their art: Stefan Wojnecki and Piotr Wołyński.