Hubert Gromny: Living the Dead: Silver in Flesh


Thesis Advisor: Ana Teixeira Pinto

July 2021


The main question of this text is how voices and articulations present in decolonial theory, critical race theory and Black studies are to be listened within an Eastern European space. How do they resonate with the land and how they inform about situated experience of the self? In order to pose this question, I engage with the critique of narrative and representation and locate it in a small town Połaniec in Poland where I grew up. Engagement with storytelling and practice of analogue photography are two methods of grounding and situating theoretical inquiries in the specific place.

Using first person narrative and expanding text with the practice of image making aims to create a method of theoretical reflection, able to engage with obscurity of knowledge and opacity of the subject. I introduce two guiding concepts describing the methodology I try to delimit in this text. Living the dead is presented as a mode of inhabitation of the dead within textual inscription and flesh of the living. Living the dead is a method of disrupting integrity of modern subjectivity. Silver in flesh is provisional definition of photography based on light-sensitive quality of silver. This definition aims to re-narrate the practice of photography as a mode of summoning and invocation. These guiding concepts are based on sociogenic reading of Easter European context. The text aims to create a space of inquiry for the practice of storytelling, image making and representation, and to retrieve opacity and relationality of knowledge within a European space.