Magda Franczak, Escheat

Archeology of Photography Foundation is happy to invite you to yet another chapter of the Living Archives project, within which the contemporary artists work with the historical photography collections, enriching them with their own, new interpretations.
For several reasons the new exhibition is different to the previous ones – Magda Franczak, an artist invited to co-operate with the Foundation, has decided to reinterpret the collection of anonymous portraits which belong to the Jewish Historical Institute. Almost 500 glass plate negatives, originating from 1930’s, have been organized, preserved and digitalized by Archeology of Photography Foundation in the collaboration with The Jewish Historical Institute, and were made available within The Virtual Museum of Photography.

Little is known about this unique collection – neither the names of the photographed people, nor the author of portraits have been identified. Negatives, brought to The Jewish Historical Institute years before, perhaps got there for a reason – the person who handed them over must have been aware that this institution takes care of the Emanuel Ringelblum Archive as well as other legacies of Jewish life from before 1939 and after the Holocaust. And thus, the place the collection came from determined its interpretation. It was presumed that at least a significant number of the portraited people had been of a Jewish origin. Most probably majority of the individuals photographed in 1930’s did not survive the next decade.