Stefan Bremer spoke next, telling us about his career in photography and showing us how he made the pictures in his Ecce Homo and Man and Woman series.
These are taken with a large format camera and high contrast blue-sensitive graphics arts film which is no longer made. Stefan sits the models in front of his camera and sorts out the pose etc he wants to use with them, then tells them they need to be naked. Some of his models are friends but others are simply people he has seen on the streets and realised they have some feature that fits his ideas.
Each exposure takes several minutes, perhaps as long as a quarter of an hour. While they sit there holding the pose, Stefan goes round them holding a light source and painting them with light to achieve the effects he wants.
It was very late by the time Eikoh Hosoe took the stage, with an extra delay because he had brought a CD written on a Mac that would not play on the centre's PC. Eventually, Ami Vitale came to the rescue, plugging her Mac into the projector and getting the system to work. So she became the projectionist for his show.
Although all the work he showed was familiar, it was good to hear him talking about it, and to find out more about some of the images - for example how he saw a garden hose and wrapped on of the figures in it on impulse.
Trying to photograph at this point with the Ixus became a real pain. First because its maximum sensitivity of ISO 400 was not really enough, but also because it kept losing focus and taking too long to get it back. I couldn't use flash for most pictures because that would have wiped out the projected images which were vital to the idea. All I could do was to take a lot of pictures and hope some would be sharp enough.
I'd brought two batteries for the camera and a charger, and had charge both that morning. Unfortunately it wasn't enough and the second battery ran out before the night finished.
I think it was around midnight when we finished, and we were then invited to a meal by the President of the organising committee (and deputy mayor) Zbigneiw Michniowski. It was a nice meal but I was too tired to really enjoy it. Jutka insisted on me going back to the hotel in her car with Ami and Bevis so she could go by a cash point to pay me back a few zloty I had lent her earlier. She also wanted me to give her directions, which was complicated by neither of us knowing where anything was and both using the terms right and left more or less interchangeably. By the time we finally got back to the hotel she had repaid me in Czech krowns, and it was around 2.30 before I got to bed. Still, at least Stefan didn't wake me up around 3.30 in case I wanted to catch a train as I think he did some others.
I was still exhausted when Izabela came with the car the following morning at 9am to take Bevis, Amy, Pilar and myself back to Krakow to catch our trains or, in my case, plane. For the first time in our stay it was a summer day with no rain.
Poland was a fantastic experience, with everyone being so friendly and helpful. I hope one day I'll return.
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