Mieczysław Szczuka

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1989 – 1927 mieczysław_szczuka

Poland

Mieczysław Szczuka was a painter, creator of typography designs, photo-montages, and architectural, scenographic and abstract experimental film projects. He is a well-known representative of Polish Constructivism and Productivism. From 1915 to 1920 he studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw under Miłosz Kotarbiński where he met his future life companion Teresa Żarnower. His artistic identity was initially influenced by Cubism, Futurism and Expressionism.  In 1924 he co-founded the avant-garde BLOK. Szczuka was a fierce defender of funcionalist design and held that the category of art will disappear within a commitment to social practice. He was working on ideas for abstract films, In 1924 BLOK published his article Essential Elements for Abstract Film accompanied by a diagram of geometrical shapes and forms on a filmstrip. The film was eventually drawn out on long rolls of paper. In 1925 he began to work on another film, He Killed, You Killed, I Killed.  “The words of the title were to be shown and per-mutated in different typefaces and intensities, and evidently it aimed to elicit an emotive and physical response through its wordplay. Here abstraction now passes through language, the word doubling as a visual sign in the montage structure”. There is no information about how far he got with his film projects. He died in a climbing accident in the Tatra Mountains in 1927.

Filmography

  • He Killed, You Killed, I Killed (1927) – lost
  • Essential Elements for Abstract Film (1924) – filmstrip

References 

  • Kuc, Kamilia and O’Pray, Michael (2014) The Struggle for Form. Perspectives on Polish Avant-Garde Film 1916-1989. London: Wallflower Press

 

 

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