Jeremy Millar

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As Witkiewicz

Archival black-and-white photographs, various sizes (each approx. 19 x 12cm)

In 1914, the Polish artist Stanislaw Witkiewicz was invited by his childhood friend, the anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski, to join him on a fieldwork expedition in New Guinea, in order to act as his draftsman and photographer. However, upon arriving in Australia, they argued about how to respond to the recent break-out of WWI, and Witkiewicz left for Europe to fight; Malinowski stayed and continued his researches, which are now considered seminal works in social anthropology.
      In May 2009, I travelled to Kiriwina (formerly known as the Trobriand Islands) off the coast of Papua New Guinea, where Malinowski conducted his most famous fieldwork. Here, I made a series of photographs 'as Witkiewicz', in what might be considered a rather elaborate form of performance. This series is part of a larger project, 'Given', which has been commissioned by the National Maritime Museum, and will be exhibited there from September 2009–January 2010.

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