Red Reiter Gallery

Pawel Herzog - Okna Bałut (Windows of Baluty)

Pawel Herzog has been taking photographs of Lodz (Poland) for many years. His works have won in numerous contests. In this series, he combines his photographs of today's Lodz with the photographs taken by Mendel Grossman - the reporter of the ghetto reality and everyday life of the Jewish closed quarter in Lodz, during the World War II. Hundreds of negatives that survived in the archives show the reality of the life in the ghetto. Herzog often photographs the same places as Grosman, as they were within the ghetto walls and still bear the signs of the past. "The past is still present in Baluty (the neighborhood, where the ghetto was placed during the World War II); you can feel it in the courtyards, staircases, storages, where there used to be a dovecote". The history is very important to Herzog. He wanders around Lodz with a camera in his hand, and then he browses through old books, he talks to people, who still remember those times. He captures slogans painted on the walls visibly damaged by the passing time - the slogans which would hurt and offend the former citizens of Lodz. The slogans drawn by the hand of a modern hooligan leave the unquestioned mark on one's attitude towards the history. "Sometimes it was difficult to find an untouched place, free from graffiti. I remember the moments when I thought they are not there until I blew up the photos just to find something appearing in the background". If we remember about the history, there is a chance, we don't make the same mistakes, we are aware of some situations which may cause such dramatic acts.