The title of this exhibition derives from ‘Recovered Territories’, the term used to describe the lands transferred from Germany to Poland at the end of the Second World War.
This geographic upheaval led to huge shifts in people too, the German population being largely replaced by Poles who were themselves expellees as a result of the expansion of the Soviet Union.
Ian Wiblin first visited the Polish city of Wroclaw (previously the German city of Breslau) in 1989, shortly before the fall of Communism. As well as referencing history, the title of this new work also alludes to Wiblin’s own ‘recovering of territory’, via photography, on his return to the city in 2006.
In these photographs, Wiblin recovers a city from his memory, revisiting (un)familiar streets and courtyards lined with housing blocks that still disclose their Breslau heritage. He has photographed the city’ s real and imagined German past, apparently disentangling it from the more recent Polish past, to create a poetic interpretation of a city whose inhabitants, or at least their descendants, are no longer there to be photographed.
Untitled, hand printed c type prints. 2007
Courtesy of the artist