Tristes Tropiques 
Kama Sokolnicka


The elegant, colour photograph depicts ordinary tents with a flysheet, commonly found at campsites in Eastern block countries in the 1970s and 1980s. It is a reference to the personal biography of the artist, whose childhood coincided with the critical turn of those two decades. This is further emphasized by the selection of the session’s location: the premises of her parents' horticultural farm. The simple construction of the tents has not changed since the era of the first explorers' expeditions, although the contemporary trivial role of the flysheet (tropik in Polish, the top layer of the tent protecting against the rain) is nowadays much smaller, not to say disappointing.

The title of the work refers to a book by Claude Lévi-Strauss, a French anthropologist and structuralist, described by Susan Sontag in her essay Anthropologist as a Hero as a typical representative of the modern era: homeless, in a constant intellectual motion between two opposing impulses – the desire to identify with the Other and their colonization through understanding.