Day by day we live in a relative sense of security and peace, making plans for the future, scheduling our holidays and trips. Little do we heed potential threats and underestimate their symptoms when they manifest themselves in reality. We construct physical and mental enclaves that give us refuge and a sense of peace, which is a kind of escape from our worries; alas, this is all illusory. For many decades Sopot has been such a place, visited by many also before and during World War II. Photographs from this period invariably show visitors relaxing on the beach, walking along the pier and spending time with friends. These moments, frozen in a sense of stability and carefree bliss, seem inadequate in hindsight and do not reflect the atmosphere of that time. Were they conscious of the changes to come?
Every now and then a “black swan” appears in reality, an event that hardly anyone can foresee, but one with an enormous impact on social and economic changes as well as on the individual destiny of each and every person. It is often only after some time that this phenomenon can be explained and its root cause pinpointed. Was it really so unpredictable, or do we simply ignore such symptoms out of fear of the unknown?
Weronika Gęsicka’s collages attempt to capture in a symbolic way the tensions and fears that we constantly have to face. Cracks begin to appear in the idyllic images that make up a large part of our privileged world. The photographs simultaneously have elements of beginning and end in their form, a strong sense of transience and the fleetingness of experiences.
Drift is the free movement of a floating object caused by the action of wind or current. It also means veering off from an assumed course, surrendering to the course of events; it is inertia.
Some of the photographs used in the Drift project come from the collection of the Museum of Sopot and were part of the exhibition “Silence Before the Storm. Summer 1939 in Sopot”, on display at the Museum in 2019.