Michał Łuczak long term project Extraction shows us, without being critical, the consequences of coal production on an industrial scale. He has lived in mining regions during his entire life and regurlary he can feel the ground shudder beneath his feet. His house begins to sink, he inhales the noxious air which he has polluted himself through heating his family home with coal. The coal industry has dramatically altered the Silesian landscape and affected its natural environment.
After more than a century of being mined, the region is marked by tailings, swamps, and abandoned buildings in overgrown wastelands. With the project, he aims to show the extraction of coal outside of any specific context, be it political, social, ethnographic, or ecological. And focuses on what came earlier: plants and rocks, human grit and determination.
While working on this project he has encountered the unsettling allure in the underground corridors and experienced the beauty of a vein of coal. By combining portraits, landscapes, still lifes, and incorporating multimedia elements, he creates an exhibition in which viewers can experience the physicality of underground drilling, and to see its results.
Michał Łuczak (born in 1983) is a visual artist and curator, graduated at the Institute of Creative Photography at the University of Silesia (Opava, CZ). He works mainly with photography and video and focuses on the complicated and mercenary relationship between humans, their immediate surroundings and the natural environment. Since 2010 he has been a part of the Sputnik Photos collective where he co-leads the Mentoring Programme on documentary photography. His work is exhibited at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art (Warsaw); Arsenal Art Gallery in Białystok; Mai Mano House in Budapest; Fotodok in Utrecht and RE – MOCAK Gallery in Cracow and published “Brutal” (2012), “Koło miejsca / Elementarz” (2016) and “11.41” (2016). He teaches at the Faculty of Art of the Pedagogical University in Krakow.