Re-relation is a limited series of signed and numbered photographic prints intended as a pretext to reflect on the relationship between humans and the non-human world. We propose eight images and stories about closeness, devotion, boundaries and mutual dependencies.
Several dozen square metres of fenced lawn with a small building on the left, right in the middle of the town, in the park, next to a playground and a wedding restaurant. Behind the fence are Opieszynek and Balbina – two camels that for many years have been an unusual part of the landscape of the city of Września. Their keeper, Konrad Cieślik, has been taking care of them for over six years. Every day at 6 a.m. he comes to talk to them, feed them or simply stay and experience peace among his two humpbacked friends. I often talked to Mr Konrad about his difficult life, his great friendship and respect for the camels; how they changed his approach to life, how they helped him give up his addictions. He told me how he feeds them, how he talks to them, how he hugs them. He explained the rules of staying in the enclosure, pointing out how important it is that the two camels are separated for the night. During this time I didn’t take out my camera, I felt that there was a lack of emotion here, a kind of connection with the place and with the animal. I did not understand everything yet. When I came on Wednesday 19th August, I found Mr Konrad standing in the enclosure of the female Balbina – as if empty, lonely and resigned. I could hear the male Opieszynek moving slightly behind the concrete wall. I looked to my right at the paddock and didn’t see the camel anywhere. I understood what had happened. Only then did I start taking pictures. On the night of 18-19 August 2016, Balbina died. A few days later, the enclosure was decommissioned and Opieszynek went to the zoo.