As Witkiewicz

Archival black-and-white photographs, various sizes (each approx. 19 x 12cm)

In 1914, the Polish artist Stanislaw Witkiewicz was invited by his childhood friend, the anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski, to join him on a fieldwork expedition in New Guinea, in order to act as his draftsman and photographer. However, upon arriving in Australia, they argued about how to respond to the recent break-out of WWI, and Witkiewicz left for Europe to fight; Malinowski stayed and continued his researches, which are now considered foundational works in social anthropology.

In May 2009, I travelled to Kiriwina (formerly known as the Trobriand Islands) off the coast of Papua New Guinea, where Malinowski conducted his most famous fieldwork. Here, I made a series of photographs 'as Witkiewicz', in what might be considered a rather elaborate form of performance.

A set of photographs is now in the collection of the Muzeum Sztuki, Lodz, together with the sculpture With the Left Hand (2009).

Commissioned by the National Maritime Museum, London, for the exhibition ‘Given’, (2009–2010).