Marek Kucharski & Diana Lelonek

Marek Kucharski & Diana Lelonek

Poland, born in 1982 and in 1988

The artists Kucharski and Lelonek propose here a modern adaptation of the influential theory of the evolution of species proposed by naturalist Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882) by making physical modifications to his groundbreaking publication, On the Origin of Species, which appeared in 1859. Working in tandem, they take a 1909 edition of the book and transform its subject matter: erasing sections of the text, they convert it into a narrative by inserting photographs of a personal character taken during a trip to Australia — a continent they here consider as the cradle of terrestrial life. The pictures are combined with unattributed photos and reproductions showing living organisms taken from scientific documents. In There’s nothing there, anyway, the theory of evolution is thus rewritten in the light both of historical events, with particular reference to colonialism, and with the photographers’ personal experiences in the field. In the case of the installation created for this publication, the two photographers can be imagined as an Adam and Eve for the modern age, as harbingers of a “revised version” of the history of humanity.

Schools Marek Kucharski

University of Arts in Poznań, Poland, since 2010
The Polish National Film, Television and Theater School in Łódź, Poland, 2006 – 2009
University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland, 2001 – 2006

Schools Diana Lelonek
University of Arts in Poznań, Poland, 2008 – 2014
NTU — Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, United Kingdom, 2012
Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai, China, 2011


Marek Kucharski & Diana Lelonek, There’s nothing there, anyway, 2014
Installation view
Double-page spread from the book with original photographs
20 x 26 cm
© Marek Kucharski & Diana Lelonek

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