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Conflict and Controversy in Small Cinemas

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Edited By Janina Falkowska and Krzysztof Loska

This book examines small cinemas and their presentation of society in times of crisis and conflict from an interdisciplinary and intercultural point of view. The authors concentrate on economic, social and political challenges and point to new phenomena which have been exposed by film directors. They present essays on, among others, Basque cinema; gendered controversies in post-communist small cinemas in Slovakia and Czech Republic; ethnic stereotypes in the works of Polish filmmakers; stereotypical representation of women in Japanese avant-garde; post-communist political myths in Hungary; the separatist movements of Catalonia; people in diasporas and during migrations. In view of these timely topics, the book touches on the most serious social and political problems. The films discussed provide an excellent platform for enhancing debates on politics, gender, migration and new aesthetics in cinema at departments of history, sociology, literature and film.

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18. Post-industrial landscape in the “Silesian cinema”: Between the aesthetic and cultural experience (Ilona Copik)

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Ilona Copik

University of Silesia

18. Post-industrial landscape in the “Silesian cinema”: Between the aesthetic and cultural experience

Abstract: An issue discussed in this chapter concerns the movie landscape in terms of its two chosen functions: aesthetic and anthropological ones. The first function originates from the aesthetic tradition and results from the fact of objectification of the picture (image) as a subject of cognition and contemplation, entangled in the sight codes. It assumes stability and distance as a receptive experience. The second one – reading of a landscape according to the anthropological key – is based on the cultural experience that includes activities such as residing (in a place/territory), participation and engagement. It draws attention not to the view of plane itself, but rather to the space depth that can be associated with the issues of geographical environment, cultural representation, topography, and symbolism of a place and locality. In the reflection on this research, the main issue is not treating those functions as an opposition, but rather using the category of landscape to reveal the cultural practices in terms of complex network of relations between subject/environment/agency, which characterise today’s processes of mediation. The subjects of the analysis are the chosen contemporary feature films representing a certain phenomenon of Polish cinematography – “Silesian cinema.” The main purpose of this research is an attempt to find answers to the following questions: how do the pictures produced by “small cinema” express the locality? To what extent do they preserve/overcome the visual conventions and cultural stereotypes? To what extent it is possible to capture in a movie the complex problems resulting from the dynamics of sociocultural transformation of a region – especially contradictory visions of relation to modernity/postmodernity, creation of new economical divisions and tensions between global/local?

Keywords: Post-industrial landscape, industrial ruins, regional cinema, cultural medium, aesthetic and cultural experience

Traditional “Silesian cinema,” namely cinema of the 70s and the 80s, which is mostly associated by Polish audience with the names of film directors such as Kazimierz Kutz, Janusz Kidawa, Jan Kidawa-Błoński, Stanisław Jędryka, Zbigniew Chmielewski, regularly presented a manipulative portrayal of industrial landscape, in which a horizon is filled with industrial plants, foundries’ chimneys and hoisting shafts as well as workers’ settlements harmoniously adjoining them. Their spatial arrangement implies a specific type of social relations, recognised ← 245 | 246 → as characteristic one for the Upper Silesia culture. Films such as Salt of the Black Earth (1969), Pearl in the Crown (1971), The Beads of One Rosary (1979) directed by K. Kutz, The Sinful Life of Franciszek Bula (1980), Pretenders from Yesterday’s Street (1986) directed by J. Kidawa, Closer and Closer (1982–1986) directed by Z. Chmielewski additionally developed a specific way of creating the connection between landscape and regional identity, in which an implementation of subculture is clearly visible. Such a subculture is formed by the occupational group of miners as a result of which the regional culture of Silesia is presented in those films visually as mostly associated with red little houses, gardens with dovecotes, and black slagheaps, and is mentally connected with rites and mining ethos – strengthened and founded in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century agrarian–industrial culture.

Films, which can be classified as belonging to the newest “Silesian cinema” – I think of pictures created in the course of the last two decades – are characterised by a different attitude to regional space, it is mainly a discourse taken up with stereotypically strengthened image of Silesian landscape that attracts the attention of spectators. Even if cinema evokes traditional iconography, it is usually done with the use of hyperbole strategy, sometimes satire, but most of all with the use of nostalgia, of which the foundation is the awareness of moving away from the former world. The landscape in the film clearly captures the transformation of physical landscape and thorough metamorphosis of local space. The audience can notice not only the presence of industrial structures still in operation and post-industrial waste, relics of the progressing processes of restructuring of heavy industry, but also the spread of the light construction industry – the effect of taking into account of urban elements in urban-industrial area of contemporary Upper Silesia. Those elements are characteristic for contemporary metropolitan cultures and are the result of opening for that type of economy, which is called soft industry1 by British researcher Tim Edensor. The landscape that became more dynamic in postmodern times is provoking simultaneously questions concerning new meaning of locality in the times of intensified civilisational transformations.

The visible sign of the intensity of contemporary economic and political transformations of the region, which entails a change of local culture, is using the post-industrial landscape by film directors. This type of landscape appears to be particularly interesting from the cultural point of view, because it concentrates on the most crucial problems of contemporary places and areas along with their ← 246 | 247 → chronic instability, transitoriness, hybridity as if through a lens. Thanks to that, this landscape can be also considered to be extremely strongly stimulating reflection on the condition of contemporary world and man’s place in it. This particular potential of post-industrial relics was probably identified and dealt with most comprehensively and thoroughly by Tim Edensor. According to him: “hidden in ruins are forgotten forms of collectivity and solidarity, lost skills, ways of behaving and feeling, traces of arcane language, and neglected historical and contemporary forms of social enterprise.”2 In the researcher’s opinion, the post-industrial landscape has ontological and epistemological meaning. As the symbol of instability, transgression and blurring of borders, the landscape gives also unique possibilities for critical approach, including deconstruction of signs of ideology and authority through initiation of mode of looking in the space where conflicts and forces clash.

The post-industrial landscape is one of the favourite landscapes chosen by contemporary cinema, which is using it eagerly for aesthetic purposes, mainly as the setting in films belonging to the genre cinema. In this case industrial ruins are mostly treated in an abstract way and out of context, being simply a place of action emphasising terror and incredibility of a plot of given thriller or a horror film so that the camera’s eye captures the landscape in a distanced and escapist way. The subject of my interest is the post-industrial landscape, which evokes cultural connotations apart from aesthetic ones and at the same time reveals the anthropological potential. It is connected with the fact that artists have overcome a distanced approach and have become engaged emotionally, and involved in some form of immersion in the observed space in order to identify and show nagging problems. In this case, the post-industrial landscape becomes not only a metonymy of the world fate but also a universal symbol of global change connected with the replacement of production model of goods with the paradigm based on consumption and economy of sign, which in the language of social theory was formulated as “post-industrial society,”3 but one of the most important symptoms of transformation at the local level, an identifier of the change of cultural specificity, which affected by processes of neglecting, abandoning, marginalisation of industrial heritage as well as being under the influence of the actions aiming at repeated retrieval, restoration and rejuvenation undergoes numerous transformations. ← 247 | 248 →

(In)discreet charm of ruins

Ruins are a kind of magnetic temptation, which best contribute to exciting the imagination just as a secret garden does. This is more or less the thesis that begins the book about post-industrial ruins by Tim Edensor. Disassembly of industrial buildings and decommissioning of the machinery from the technological usage make their semantics blurred and evolving. The author writes: “Since the original uses of ruined buildings has passed, there are limitless possibilities for encounters with the weird.”4 The researcher tries to convince us that strangeness and the air of mystery of ruins are on the one hand sources of their charm and photogenic nature, and on the other hand, they stimulate a reflection of transcendental and transgressive nature, in which the review perspective and the direction of interpretation become emancipated and liberated from usual limitations. Elżbieta Dutka has similar observations – not only does the presence in the landscape of industrial structures, but also their relics make an impression of a “photogenic” space, at the same time they stimulate the reflection of universal nature, concerning the core meaning of existence, transitoriness of life and inevitability of death that result in the melancholy that marks the industrial as well as post-industrial landscape.5 Additionally, the post-industrial ruins reproduce the Vanitas Motif, clearly illustrating that everything in this world falls apart, passes and decays, and that reality is fragile and simultaneously difficult to understand in categories of logical whole, doomed to incomplete and fragmentary cognition.

According to Edensor, this trend of thinking about ruins as a place that is characterised by specific visual beauty is an indication of a succession of romantic aesthetics. The attractiveness of ruins was in this way connected with their origins (preferably medieval), sufficient condition (they must have been relatively well preserved), as well as adequate setting: colour of sky, topography of a land, type of climate and weather conditions. Thus, the conditions stated above were considered to be essential to find a landscape as worthy to contemplate it and evaluate according to traditional aesthetic categories: picturesqueness and loftiness. Ruins understood in this way were a part of an abstract space, out of environmental and corporal context, viewed by a subject distanced from an object of interest. In a more general sense, the issue of distance is a crucial characteristic of aesthetic experience, mentioned by Małgorzata Nitka, who refers to Edmund Burke: things (dangerous or scary) can be a source of pleasure; however, the ← 248 | 249 → necessary condition for such kind of feeling is scrutinizing them from “a certain distance.”6 The aesthetisation of post-industrial spaces seems to be in this context quite an obvious experiment. Densification of area created by accumulation of industrial infrastructure itself causes the landscape to appear to be exceptional. Its destruction dramatically strengthens this effect. The frameworks of factories, piles of debris, and remains stripped of context and deprived of their function meet demand to make an impression of being alien and detached, creating at the same time a universal space, which can be an intriguing field to all artistic activities. As a synthesis of transformations and transgressions, it turns out to be the adequate setting to play a variety of performances – from ancient tragedy to futuristic drama, especially it is considered to be an attractive film open-air used eagerly by action films or science fiction. Moreover, its characteristic is the surprising photogenic factor, as Susan Sontag aptly puts it: “Bleak factory buildings and billboard-cluttered avenues look as beautiful, through the camera’s eye, as churches and pastoral landscapes.”7

The examples of fascination with industrial and post-industrial landscape can be noted also in films belonging to “Silesian cinema”; however, clearly in this very case, it is difficult to separate aesthetic experience from anthropological one. Silesian cinema as small cinema – the regional cinema is most of all a kind of embodied cultural practice, of which distinctive features are geographical, historical and social relations with a place determined by awareness of regional identity, engaging senses and emotions. Thus aesthetic experience is considered to be insufficient for one more reason mentioned by Edensor: “romantic themes are wholly unsuitable for accounting for the industrial ruins,”8 because it is a space of problematic nature, in which a complicated history and “varied forms of dense sociality occur.”9 This is true in case of Silesian landscape, of which its photogenic nature almost each time evokes specific real problems. Therefore, if there is marked aesthetisation of landscape in Silesian cinema, it usually goes hand in hand with some form of penetration of a subject that looks into observed space, its intellectual or emotional engagement in the specificity of a place, its response to permeating the landscape economic, political and social issues. ← 249 | 250 →

Post-industrial landscape and its aesthetic function

There are plenty of examples of exercising the aesthetic function of the landscape in the newest “Silesian cinema.” Simultaneously they demonstrate a kind of intermediation of view on the locality, because the film frames often refer to previous film images that have already gained fixed cultural significance, but also they refer to poetics of literary images or paintings of Silesian intuitive artists (e.g. “Rudzka Group” or “Janowska Group”). The works of art of the latter ones are called in some studies as follows: “regional art,” “Silesian art,” namely “the art created in Silesia and referring to Silesia.”10 It is a true regional phenomenon and its essential pillars are mining environments and activity of artistic groups created near hard-coal mines.11 On canvas of the painters of the naive, landscape consists of brick houses, green areas of adjoining gardens and black of nearby slagheaps, and is invariably shrouded in a glow of smoke floating in the air from factory chimneys. The themes discussed in this chapter along with the trend of capturing of the local folklore with the use of expressive colouring contribute to a particular type of depiction.

The film titled Public Outrage directed by Maciej Prykowski (2009) clearly relates to this poetics. Through artistic means used in the film plot, it was possible to create a fairy-tale, romantic local atmosphere. The video camera shows picturesque workers’ housing estate called Fytel situated among green areas and fields using distant locations. Following the view, the camera’s eye displays a subtle charm of a place providing a panorama on the surroundings visible from the tower – once a large blast furnace (belonging to “Batory” Foundry in Chorzów), today’s vantage point. On the screen, we can see former industrial areas, which gradually have started to grow over with weeds, transforming the terrain into a wild garden, drowning in fog the (post)industrial settlement, peripheral railway station, to which no trains run any more. Photographs taken by Paweł Dyllus emphasise a monumental loftiness of architecture of former foundry’s buildings; they capture post-industrial emptiness, which is undoubtedly a counterpoint for a housing estate vibrant with workers’ life. However, it is only the aesthetic experience, on which the expression of space ends in that movie; instead of cultural experience, ← 250 | 251 → there are elements of convention typical for comedy genre. Starting from the way of building narration and ending at drawing of a character, in the movie comes to the forefront as stated Jan F. Lewandowski: “all clownery with the use of not only the setting, but also customs and traditions and even a silesian dialect,”12 making it one more example of a spontaneous film comedy full of ribald gags.

The next example of the landscape’s aesthetisation in the “Silesian cinema” can be seen in a movie titled Hyena directed by Grzegorz Lewandowski (2006), also fitting a post-industrial genre convention – in this case in the form of a horror film. The poetics of space used in that movie is largely referring to the form of contemplation of industrial ruins, which was defined by Tim Edensor as “a sort of modern gothic”13 – product of “post-industrial nostalgia,”14 focusing on “dark urban nightscapes, abandoned parking lots, factories, warehouses, and other remnants of post-industrial culture.”15 The ruins are in this case a foretaste to the expected complete degeneration, a kind of tourist attraction, which makes the subject of the description and aesthetic experience not only the processes of decay, decomposition, darkness, but also a communion with the unspoken, marginalised, repressed. The city is perceived as an area of catastrophe, more connected with – the collapse of modernistic structures of the world, undermining of the progression myth, vision of future extermination of civilization resulting in decadence and signs of macabre that contribute to “the topography of gloomy decay.”16 Significant is the fact that in the movie Hyena the Upper Silesia is not really presented on the screen, neither its name, nor the scope of its topography. The setting, consisting of the left mining premises and industrial facilities along with its surrounding wildlife hideaways, marshes, and tangled paths, is not depicting the region or any other particular city. It is rather abstracted from the geographical context, a post-industrial settlement situated in an undefined space. Spectators may have an impression that the landscape is used here only as a purely aesthetic phenomenon (what is emphasised in the movie by sophisticated architectural layouts entangled by a play of light) and as an element of creating a mood of horror and incredibility. ← 251 | 252 →

Ruins as “a liminal moment”

Although in the above-mentioned films the aesthetic experience clearly dominates and the setting seems to serve as a necessary background for film plots, it cannot be deemed that the post-industrial landscape is here a completely neutral location. On the contrary, its presence is significant, felt subconsciously to some extent; it symbolises harm, loss and unbalanced social relations. For example, Hyena directed by Grzegorz Lewandowski apart from conventional (aesthetic) connotations makes us think about a space in geographical-temporal categories, which gives rise to nostalgic associations, and thus we realise that a space of contemporary horror film – empty, inhuman and ominous – is a former place of active large workplace with thriving industrial infrastructure and social welfare facilities, vibrant with life and in full swing. In this sense, a ruin reminds us about the crisis that has recently occurred, a dual structure of a place has seen a daylight, a place in which there is a border between the former and the contemporary, which allows us to uncover the hidden layers of memory that show a picture entirely different from the present view. Similar suggestions can also be found in a film titled “Public Outrage,” in film frames presenting frameworks of former foundry that make a spectator aware of a whole dimension of economic transformation that has been done.

According to Edensor, the presence of industrial ruins in the landscape is a sign of “a liminal moment,” in which a particular place has found its location. That point of time symbolises a state of suspension stretching from abandonment of an area to its falling into total destruction or a discovery of a possibility of redevelopment of an area. In a particular moment, it is considered as a kind of unrealistic terra nullius – no man’s land devoid of any distinctive aim of existence. As a post-industrial landscape, it embodies pivotal transitional state between “old” and “new” order, being a “blank area,”17 which is created after definitive depletion of (natural) resources, at the time, when they have not yet been replaced by new ones. For that reason, it evokes depressive connotations and extreme reactions as a space of shock, loss and “a neglected land.”18

This essential state “in transition,” characterised by exceptional emotional tension, has in Silesia its dynamics visible in the ways of using the landscape, both in film and in photography. Transition from “industrial” to “post-industrial” takes place along with political transformation and gets visible in the landscape from the beginning of the 90s. Then “a liminal moment” becomes a discourse about ← 252 | 253 → ecological destruction that results in accumulation in regional iconography of pictures referring to “black Silesia” stereotype – a land devastated by heavy industry, ruined by expansive human activities.19 Poetics of an image (and rhetoric of narration) from that period is based on a conviction that long-term, irrational usage of natural resources contributed to a complete destruction of the ecosystem in the Upper Silesia – area – which can no longer be the environment suitable for life of a human being, posing a real danger for today’s and future generations. The destruction of industrial landscape at the verge of modern times is associated with disease and death, of which visible signs are degraded soil, civilisation diseases and genetic mutations. Documentaries made on the order of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Natural Resources and Forestry such as My Region Silesia directed by Henryk Urbanek, Krzysztof Zygalski (1991) or The Fruits of the Black Soil directed by Mirosław Dembiński (1992) – like early photographies made by Michał Cała belonging to collection titled Silesia and Galicia (2013) – show this conflict between nature/culture, humanity/industry, tradition/progress captured in the landscape, in which an apocalyptic vision of destruction – complete devastation of landscape and living environment – ultimately wins.

In the course of ongoing processes of restructuring of heavy industry and closing of consecutive factories and plants, with the result that the most tedious effects of recent exploitation and contamination of environment are becoming less significant, the discourse of “black Silesia” is gradually losing importance. It is obscured by another shock narration adequate for “a liminal moment” – a story about a vanishing landscape. The consequence of political–economic transformation as well as rapid privatisation of state sector and seeking for new sources of profit is waste production, the element of the existing industrial resources treated now as worthless debris. Consecutive buildings, blast furnaces, steelworks, chimneys, hoisting shafts, industrial machines are abandoned or demolished and even the workplace workers’ housing estates are subjected to similar practices. Andrzej Stasiuk reminds us by the suggestive style in his prose that: “These are houses, where people lived too long, in which they died. Big cars shall arrive to remove it and throw away. It sounds strange, but there is a need to remove and throw away houses and cities to make space for the next ones, which will be once removed and ← 253 | 254 → thrown away too.”20 The state of the post-industrial landscape is shown as a film picture by Anna Stępczak-Patyk in her short film made in Master Film Academy of Andrzej Wajda titled The End of the Street (2005), in which local architecture as well as the identity of a place are dematerialised, in this way converting into a film picture.

Post-industrial landscape as an area of conflict

In the course of time and as a result of the growth of social awareness, the intensifying process of wasting technical monuments increases the activity of citizens’ resistance visible in a growing number of foundations and associations aiming at the protection of industrial heritage. At the background, ruins and debris produced at a rapid pace can be distinguished; however, the architecture preserved in satisfactory condition is now demanding a rescue or at least a creation of a documentation concerning its existence in iconic form before its final dematerialisation. An important reason of attachment to post-industrial ruins is nostalgia intensified now by late fascination with the landscape from the childhood, which let one’s heart be troubled by rapid passing away and transition into debris, and also a memory of not prosperous, but vital and operative past, contrasted with the contemporary emptiness and miserable condition. Additionally, a factor that stimulates the interest in a ruin is a fact perceived in public space, namely the lack of developed rational policy of management of industrial heritage by local self-government.

That artistic approach is a distinctive feature of activity of young generation of artists – photographers with a penchant for multimedia, including Marek Stańczyk. Since 2008, he has documented the twilight of Silesian industry, capturing with the camera’s eye subsequent actions of decommissioning of mines and factories. In a series of authorial films titled Made in Silesia – Industrial Landscape (2011), he managed to capture demolition of such gigantic mining facilities as buildings of former KWK (coal mine) “Andaluzja” in Piekary Śląskie or KWK “New Wirek” in Ruda Śląska, thanks to which his films, as he said, constitute today: “sole ‘eyewitness’ – visible – liquidation processes and changes in silesian landscape.”21 Similar approach to the landscape characterises Mark Locher called ← 254 | 255 → “a photographer of a lost landscape,” the author of multimedia project titled Human and Machine (2015). Those interests are evidenced by titles of his subsequent series of works: Here Things Changed, Silence of Historical Places, The End of Mine, Silesia – Returns and Goodbyes. The falling chimneys and shafts, reinforced concrete structures, machines and railway tracks are the motifs continuously present in black-and-white photographs made by the artist. What is peculiar about them is that the facilities are captured in the camera’s eye at the moment of their demolition as if at the moment of letting their dying breath.

The pictures of the artists mentioned above certainly reveal in many cases surprising, monumental beauty of industrial ruins; however – maybe foremost – they capture traces of turbulent history of industry constituting a material indicator of fragile cultural identity of the region. Stańczyk treats the ruins as monuments of transitory history, which brittle and die, due to negligence and affected by deliberate, but hasty destructions activities resulting from “lack of awareness of society about historical monument and their roots.”22 Locher, in turn, on the question of what interests him in ruins, replied: “That is my protest. Look what you have done. What we are losing, because of your thoughtlessness. Sometimes I understand it, because those facilities are hard to adapt, too contaminated. But is there a need to demolish most of them?”23 In this regard, both artists treat the post-industrial landscape no longer as an object of contemplation, but as a form of participation. In order to discover information about poorly accessible places, they study maps, illustrations and old photographies, and exchange the experiences with enthusiasts like them on the Internet forums, so that they could later on penetrate particular elements of landscape in an emotional way and with the embodied approach and via the camera’s eye capture them before they vanish from the surface of the earth.

Conflictuality of the landscape is most noticeable in documentaries, in which the Silesia as a whole is presented in a real and metaphorical sense as a ruin. This is the case for example in the film directed by Michael Majerski The Upper Silesia – Here Is Where We Meet (2013). Intertwined into the documentary film frames by ← 255 | 256 → Marek Stańczyk and more, the whole landscape presented on the screen, not only the one connected with factories showing mining shafts and towers falling apart, but also the urban landscape constituting a gloomy hallmark of post-industrial districts, becomes one big metonymy of the Upper Silesia problem. The key issue is, according to the director, the deep crisis of the place caused not only by the ruined material industrial heritage, but also by cultural devastation being the result of breaking the ties, which in the past were connecting local culture and German tradition. The controversies of post-industrial landscape are shown, in yet another way, through the lens of Adam Sikora. In the documentary titled Corpus Christi (2005) and in a feature film created jointly with Ingmar Villqist, titled Eve (2010), is presented “dying” of the region. Destruction of the architecture of mining workers’ estate is here tantamount to the collapse of local culture and identity. In the course of undergoing political transformations along with closed mines and increasing unemployment, such cultural features as working-class ethos, local customs and traditions, and lifestyle are steadily irrevocably departing, in this way leading to their eradication.

Conclusions

The post-industrial landscape as a space of accumulated problems resulting from the necessary reconfiguration of world makes us think it over. Many researchers, for example Elizabeth Mahoney, recognise it as a symbol of contemporary places infused with “difference, fragmentation, pluralism.”24 In this context, taking into account only the beauty of ruins (if we want to search for such kind of aesthetics in film frames) is equivalent to the downgrading the meaning, which in fact turns out to be far more complex. Maria Popczyk indicates the limitations of post-industrial landscape only to a form resulting from the aesthetic experience, providing the landscape with values of objects with neutralised meaning, which perceived for selfless reasons constitute only decorum, a kind of expressive background.25 However, the cultural experience demonstrates deeper reflections of artists and simultaneously it can become a specific reception strategy. In both cases the post-industrial landscape becomes a document of conflict, waste, ← 256 | 257 → exploitation. It reveals an existential dimension of a place, emotions and experience, which accompany its reception.

Finally, we can evoke views of William J. T. Mitchell, who advocates the change in thinking about the landscape, treating it not as a noun form, but a verb form (“from a noun to the verb”).26 In this way landscape is not understood as an object that we can see or a text to read, but as a process by means of which individual and social identities can be formed.27 According to the researcher, the landscape is not a kind of art, but it is “a cultural medium.”28 “Landscape is a natural scene mediated by culture. It is both represented and presented space, both a signifier and a signified, both a frame and what a frame contains, both a real place and its simulacrum, both a package and the commodity inside the package.”29 Such a view of post-industrial landscape captured in “Silesia cinema” becomes a space, of which penetration can provide us with interesting conclusions going beyond the issues concerning poetics of picture, styles and artistic conventions, which refer to life itself – transforming locality and identity of a place.

Bibliography

Baudrillard, Jean. Toward a Political Economy of the Sign. St. Louis: Telos Press, 1981.

Bell, Daniel. The Coming of a Post-Industrial Society. New York: Basic Books, 1974.

Dutka, Elżbieta. “Melancholijne pejzaże Śląska” [Melancholic landscapes of Silesia]. Białystok Literature Studies, Vol. 3, 2012, pp. 79–96.

Edensor, Tim. Industrial Ruins. Spaces, Aesthetics and Materiality. Oxford and New York: Berg, 2005.

Fiderkiewicz, Maria. Śląscy pariasi pędzla i dłuta [Silesian Pariahs of Brush and Chisel]. Katowice: Muzeum Śląskie, 1994.

Lewandowski, Jan F. Silesian Cinema. Katowice: Wydawnictwo “Śląsk,” 2012.

Mahoney, Elisabeth. “The people in parentheses: Space under pressure in the post-modern city.” In: The Cinematic City, ed. David B. Clarke. London: Routledge, 1997, pp. 168–185.

Mitchell, William J. T, ed. Landscape and Power. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002. ← 257 | 258 →

Nitka, Małgorzata. “Pokłady wyobraźni: poetyka przestrzeni industrialnej” [Layers of imagination: Poetics of industrial space]. In: Przestrzeń w kulturze i literaturze [Space in Culture and Literature], ed. Ewa Borkowska. Katowice: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego, 2006, pp. 42–54.

Pokropek, Marian. “Śląska plastyka nieprofesjonalna – wyjątkowa kolekcja” [Silesian unprofessional artistic creativity – Unique collection]. In: Twórcy intuicyjni z kolekcji Barwy Śląska [Intuitive Artists from the Collection Colours of Silesia], ed. Stanisław G. Trefoń. Ruda Śląska: Stowarzyszenie “Barwy Sląska,” 2015, pp. 14–17.

Popczyk, Maria. “Krajobraz jako obraz” [The landscape images]. In: Krajobraz kulturowy [The Cultural Landscape], eds. Beata Frydryczak and Mieszko Ciesielski. Poznanń: Wydawnictwo Poznańskiego Towarzystwa Przyjaciół Nauk, 2014, pp. 55–64.

Sontag, Susan. On Photography. New York: Rosetta Books, 2005.

Stasiuk, Andrzej. “I tak to się wszystko kiedyś skończy” [It will all eventually come to an end]. In: Czarno-biały Śląsk [Black and White Silesia], ed. Wojciech Wilczyk. Katowice: Galeria Zderzak, Górnośląskie Centrum Kultury, 2004, p. 5–6.

Online sources

Węgiel-Wnuk, Małgorzata. “Marek Stańczyk shows photographies that document the fall of Sienkiewicz tower former KWK Andaluzja.”Dziennik Zachodni [Western Daily] 23 May 2012. http://piekaryslaskie.naszemiasto.pl/artykul/marek-stanczyk-pokazuje-zdjecia-dokumentujace-upadek-wiezy,1414243,artgal,t,id,tm.xhtml#521f4162c6f04995,1,3,4 (Accessed 3 January 2017).

Malkowski, Tomasz. “Marek Locher: A photographer of the lost landscape.” http://www.zmienmce.fora.pl/informacje-z-myslowic,13/marek-locher-fotograf-utraconego-krajobrazu,214.html (Accessed 3 January 2017).

Koniakowski, Andrzej. “Marek Stańczyk – a panoramic gaze.” http://www.koniakowski.pl/2012–3.html (Accessed 3 January 2017).


1 Tim Edensor, Industrial Ruins. Spaces, Aesthetics and Materiality (Oxford, New York: Berg, 2005), p. 6.

2 Edensor, Industrial Ruins, pp. 166–167.

3 See Daniel Bell, The Coming of a Post-Industrial Society (New York: Basic Books, 1974); Jean Baudrillard, Toward a Political Economy of the Sign (St. Louis: Telos Press, 1981).

4 Edensor, Industrial Ruins, p. 4.

5 Elżbieta Dutka, “Melancholijne pejzaże Śląska” [Melancholic landscapes of Silesia], Białystok Literature Studies, Vol. 3 (2012), pp. 79–96.

6 Małgorzata Nitka, “Pokłady wyobraźni: poetyka przestrzeni industrialnej” [Layers of imagination: Poetics of industrial space], in: Przestrzeń w kulturze i literaturze [Space in Culture and Literature], ed. Ewa Borkowska (Katowice: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Śląskiego, 2006), pp. 47–48.

7 Susan Sontag, On Photography (New York: Rosetta Books, 2005), p. 61.

8 Edensor, Industrial Ruins, p. 11.

9 Edensor, Industrial Ruins, p. 9.

10 Marian Pokropek, “Śląska plastyka nieprofesjonalna – wyjątkowa kolekcja” [Silesian unprofessional artistic creativity – Unique collection], in: Twórcy intuicyjni z kolekcji Barwy Śląska [Intuitive Artists from the Collection Colours of Silesia], ed. Stanisław G. Trefoń (Ruda Śląska: Stowarzyszenie “Barwy Sląska,” 2015), p. 15.

11 See Maria Fiderkiewicz, Śląscy pariasi pędzla i dłuta [Silesian Pariahs of Brush and Chisel] (Katowice: Muzeum Śląskie, 1994).

12 Jan F. Lewandowski, Silesian Cinema (Katowice: Wydawnictwo “Śląsk,” 2012), p. 138.

13 Edensor, Industrial Ruins, p. 13.

14 See Edensor, Industrial Ruins, p. 13.

15 See Edensor, Industrial Ruins, p. 13.

16 See Edensor, Industrial Ruins, p. 14.

17 Edensor, Industrial Ruins, p. 8.

18 Edensor, Industrial Ruins, p. 9.

19 As Elżbieta Dutka writes: “till today the industrial landscape of Silesia with mining shafts and chimneys, horizontally and diagonally levelled pipes and transmission lines, devastated surface of land, refuse heaps, slagheaps, earthfalls, miners’ housing estates and chaotic urban infrastructure is still a kind of ‘showcase,’ a hallmark of this place. Despite tremendous diversity of the landscape in this region, it is still perceived by wider audience in strongly conventionalized way.” Dutka, “Melancholijne pejzaże,” p. 80.

20 Andrzej Stasiuk, “I tak to się wszystko kiedyś skończy” [It will all eventually come to an end], in: Czarno-biały Śląsk [Black and White Silesia], ed. Wojciech Wilczyk (Katowice: Galeria Zderzak, Górnośląskie Centrum Kultury, 2004), p. 5.

21 Andrzej Koniakowski, “Marek Stańczyk – a panoramic gaze” (accessed 3 January 2017) http://www.koniakowski.pl/2012-3.html.

22 Małgorzata Węgiel-Wnuk, “Marek Stańczyk shows photographies that document the fall of Sienkiewicz tower former KWK Andaluzja,” Dziennik Zachodni [Western Daily] 23 May 2012, (accessed 1 January 2017) http://piekaryslaskie.naszemiasto.pl/artykul/marek-stanczyk-pokazuje-zdjecia-dokumentujace-upadek-wiezy,1414243,artgal,t,id,tm.xhtml#521f4162c6f04995,1,3,4.

23 Tomasz Malkowski, “Marek Locher: a photographer of the lost landscape” (accessed 3 January 2017).http://www.zmienmce.fora.pl/informacje-z-myslowic,13/marek-locher-fotograf-utraconego-krajobrazu,214.html

24 Elisabeth Mahoney, “The people in parentheses: Space under pressure in the post-modern city,” in: The Cinematic City, ed. David B. Clarke (London: Routledge, 1997), p. 168.

25 Maria Popczyk, “Krajobraz jako obraz” [The landscape images], in: Krajobraz kulturowy [The Cultural Landscape], eds. Beata Frydryczak and Mieszko Ciesielski (Poznań: Wydawnictwo Poznańskiego Towarzystwa Przyjaciół Nauk, 2014), p. 58–59.

26 William J. T. Mitchell, “Introduction,” in: Landscape and Power, ed. William J. T. Mitchell (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002), p. 1.

27 Mitchell, “Introduction.”

28 See Mitchell, “Introduction,” p. 2.

29 Mitchell, “Landscape and Power,” p. 5.