11 August 2023 Lover of Art and Photography

Archival records and photography… Two areas to interlace throughout his life. Both are specific forms of preserving the past – in documents and in the picture frame…

In his professional life, Tadeusz Boniecki looks after the archives of the Poznań-based Philharmonic and Opera House. At the Wieniawski Society, he put in order not only the composer and musician’s legacy, but also the archive of the Wieniawski competitions. At Poznań Philharmonic, besides systemizing archival records, he also compiled a list of first concert performances (close to five hundred!) since the establishment of our institution in 1947, as well as this of all domestic and international tours made by The Poznań Nightingales choir.

In his private life, he never parts with the camera. A few years ago, an exhibition at the Raczyński Library featured his pictures to chronicle various aspects of life in Poznań at the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries. This exciting historical documentation was, however, just a fragment of a batch of over thirteen thousand photographs taken by Tadeusz Boniecki between 1981 and 2022, and now handed over to become part of the Raczyński Library’s collection.

The main building of the Raczyński Library plays now host to another exhibition, “Teatr w fotografii Tadeusza Bonieckiego” (Theatre In Tadeusz Boniecki’s Photographs). A choice of almost four hundred images (selected from a body of fifteen hundred photographs) taken in recent years at theatre performances staged by professional and amateur companies at theatrical venues and elsewhere. Each picture is meticulously described with the date, title of performance, and name of the company. And each commands viewer’s attention. Actors’ emotions, dramatic quality of particular scenes, beauty of artistic arrangement… It is hard to pass them by unresponsively. Sometimes we even get the impression that dancers are going to emerge from the picture to perform in front of us, that actors are going to address us not only with the gesture visible in the photograph, but also with the word… For what binds these images is just that: artists’ emotions.

“I love theatre,” says Tadeusz Boniecki. “And this is the reason why theatre photographs are closest to my heart. Of course, when you focus on photographing a performance, you always miss out on some of it. That’s why I sometimes go to see a performance twice…

“Teatr w fotografii Tadeusza Bonieckiego” exhibition is open till end of August. Main building of Raczyński Library; entrance free.