Black Water Ballad
True huis-clos around a small lake where Lucas Olivet grew up, this series is about the relationship to water,
looking to pay tribute to this wilderness, there to detect traces of a spirituality in which man finds himself living simply, peacefully,
to the rhythm of the sun. Olivet restrained himself of doing very simple images in such distracting environment.
At the same time, a blur remains. "Is this deer stuffed ? Are these cast iron pans staged ?"
The Kopiec Bonawentura project draws its origin from Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi (1896): "Set in Poland that is
to say nowhere" in the author’s words. But what if Poland actually existed in several places at once?
Lucas Olivet offers an imaginary, transnational answer, which he situates in Poland and the lands of its Diaspora,
commonly called Polonia. To do that, he let himself be guided by the legendary Andrzej Tadeusz Bonawentura Kociuszko, whom historians call “the last knight” or “the first citizen of the world.”
Kociuszko’s heroic destiny underscores the common cause of nations subjected to shifting borders.
His legend traveled to the United States, France, and Switzerland, where streets, bridges, and statues keep his name alive.
The exhibition’s title, Kopiec Bonawentura, is borrowed from the mound built in his memory on the heights of Krakow.
The diversity of sites commemorating the hero draws a mental map that Lucas Olivet transposes to his personal
vision of Polonia. In this vast, shifting space, the private, living details of daily life can cross paths with the supernatural,
a storytelling method allowing viewers to reconstruct the narrative as they please. Exhibited at the Rencontres d’Arles for the first time, this series of photographs was shortlisted for the Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize awarded by the Center for
Documentary Studies at Duke University in 2017.