Hell’s Kitchen

“Hell’s Kitchen” is – it would seem – quite an inexpensive name for a photographic exhibition. However, just after crossing the threshold of Marcin Andrzejewski’s atelier, one of the basic attributes of the kitchen is the nostrils: a bouquet of intense scents. This is not the scent of the food being prepared, but a mixture of alcohol, ether, and other chemicals that are unidentifiable for an inoperable nose.
After a while we get used to the diabolic scent and start to look at vegetables and fruits – the silent heroes of the show. Impersonation is not an accident here – what is usually regarded as food, here transforms into theatrical actors in new role models. We see their variety, the dynamics of the facial expressions of their structure, and on the stage they show a new look at the kitchen, while offering a perspective of tasty dishes. Cooking and Photography – says Andrzejewski – is my life. And it is the passion of finding a common denominator for both of these areas to feel most strongly in the set of images that we see in the “Hell’s Kitchen.”
The characteristic aroma mix accompanying the exhibition is not a case in point. It binds directly to ambrotype, the technique used to create these tasty images. It has been used since the 1850s, but today it is used by a few photographers. This technique requires discipline, patience and a lot of work, but the process itself is fascinating. In the beginning, the glass plate is trimmed to form a collodion layer and sensitized with silver nitrate, and the photographer takes about 10 minutes to take and produce a photograph. This is an exciting moment as there is no guarantee that the picture will rise. However, if it succeeds, the creator obtains a completely unique work and great satisfaction. Just like experimenting in the kitchen.
Ambrotype, like the art of cooking, is very demanding. In one image we have both negative and positive. It is important to focus attention on details, focus and keep in mind the chemical process … That is why displaying the “Devil’s Kitchen” is a gesture similar to administering a complicated meal. An important role, as well as when serving dishes, its development and presentation.
At the moment 300 images per hour is no feat. However, Andrzejewski slows down, stops in front of the object to celebrate and tastefully touch, touching all senses.
Marek Poźniak