Frantic brings together black and white photographs, taken in 2016 in Lisbon and later in London, Warsaw and Rio de Janeiro. The series features shelters with their inhabitants as well as shelters photographed on their own. These temporary shelters built inside houses reflect on the general notion of home and the very fragility of the domestic sphere.
The initial idea for the project comes from the common children's game in which they build a shelter, a tent, a bunker or a house within their own domestic space. The process of triggering the situation in which adults build such protective, temporary shelters is as important for Piotrowska as the final photographic outcome. The project is inspired by homeless people's temporary constructions and by the general notion of home and the very fragility of the domestic sphere. The starting point for dwelling on this game and transposing it into the adult world was the artist's fascination with those shelters being always built inside a home, as if the domestic space itself did not provide enough protection from the outside world. The book includes a text by the psychoanalyst Anouchka Grose, one by the curator Sara De Chiara and one by the architect Pier Paolo Tamburelli.
Joanna Piotrowska (born 1985 in Warsaw, lives and works in London) studied Photography at the Royal College of Art in London and Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków. Her photographic practice focuses on familial structures and their relationship to the wider systems—including politics, economics, social, and cultural life. She explores the past and the present, showing all the inequalities of power and psychological drama, and translating the gestures and everyday intimate behaviors into new scenarios—giving them an almost caricature-like quality. The artist uses her surroundings to show the anxiety and psychological tension of the domestic space—rather as a document of a performance than a documentary image.