STOS | Magdalena i Maksymilian Rigamonti | Kolekcja Wrzesińska 2020 | english

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Four women were burned here. First two. They were to ride a black rooster and use it to fly to cemetery parties. Another two right after. Earlier they were covered with tar. The crowds appeared at the market square in Września. The stake was burning here in 1720.

In October and November 2020, at the peak of coronavirus cases, protests in defense of women's rights continued throughout Poland. The crowds came to the market square in Września.

Burned, destroyed and humiliated over the years. Witches, crones, women. Fighting for independence and freedom. Fighting for themselves alone. Lonely. "The Stake" is a photographic and literary story about women. It was made during the pandemic in 2020, just three hundred years after one of the last stakes in Europe was burning in a small town in Great Poland. The book, like  Hammer of Witches (1487)- the Catholic treatise on witchcraft, consists of three chapters and tells about women who defy categorization and stereotypes. The first part proves that magic does exist - in this chapter, Maksimilian Rigamonti reaches for fear and terror symbols linking modernity with 13th-century history. The second part describes the forms of practicing magic - Magdalena Rigamonti gives the floor to four women who have defied the patterns and are constantly fighting for themselves. The third chapter reveals the methods of detecting, judging and getting rid of witches - here the citizens took matters into their own hands, went out to the market square and manifested their support for women. - Does that event somehow still resonate in the city space? Are there today, in little Września, women who go against the tide, dare to have their own opinion, separate from the majority, and are willing to express it out loud? The Rigamonti want not only to  remind us of our past sins, but also to give voice to contemporary Polish women- writes Karol Szymkowiak, curator of "The Stake" book and the entire Września Collection.

 "The Stake" following "Echo"- award-winning piece for the best photographic book in the world in the Pictures of the Year International competition - is another joint publication of the Rigamonti writing and photography duo. The authors invited Ewa Meissner, a photo editor, and Honza Zamojski, a designer of artistic books, to cooperate. It resulted with the creation of a complete and universal publication about the centuries-long fight for and against women.

Maksymilian Rigamonti, the winner of the main prize - Photo of the Year in the Grand Press Photo 2012 competition. Nominated for the Leica Oskar Barnack 2014 award. The ambassador of Fujifilm Poland since 2020. Lecturer of journalism and photography at SWPS University.

Magdalena Rigamonti, a journalist, the winner of the most important Polish journalism prizes  - Grand Press, Dariusz Fikus Award and the Mediator. She worked for the Newsweek and Wprost, currently, together with Maksymilian, she is connected with Gazeta Prawna Journal. She is a member of Press Club Polska and conducts classes on the press interview at SWPS University.

Ewa Meissner, co-founder of the Napo Images agency. She cooperated as a curator and co-organizer of photo exhibitions, including the Centre for Contemporary Art, the Old Gallery of the Association of Polish Art Photographers, the Royal Castle in Warsaw and the Centre of Japanese Art and Technology "Manngha" in Krakow. In 2010-2012, she taught press photography at the Institute of Journalism at the University of Warsaw. Photo editor of photo books, the author of a blog promoting documentary photography Polish Documentary Photography Links. Her works have been exhibited, among others, in Poland, France, the Czech Republic, England and the United States.

Honza Zamojski, artist, designer, publisher of books and curator. He uses various media in his practice: from drawing, through drawing sculptures, to infographics derived from the corporate world or poetry. The author of several books and a series of lectures 'How it's made', presented, among others at Center Pompidou, MoMA Library, and Printed Matter New York. Lecturer at the School of Form in Warsaw.

* The text comes from the book "The Stake".


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