When everybody left, it got really quiet. Quiet and empty. But if you stood in one of these streets, it wouldn't be as easy to grasp the emptiness as the stillness. There are cars, there's a stray dog, it seems as if the Christmas lights are going to light up as soon as it gets dark. But it doesn't darken, the water doesn't move, you will never hear these particular waves. So should some forensics team come to investigate this unusual scene, they would feel the warmth of the engine of a car left in the harbour, but they wouldn't hear the echos any conversations. The cause and effect seem forever separated. However, through the visual mindfulness of Łukasz Zgrzebski's scenes. We are brought closer to the hidden narrative and the power of the absence of closure.
In the theory of sound there is a notion that the acoustic signal of "white noise" is a completely flat spectrum. This term comes from the analogy with the optical spectrum of an electromagnetic wave. Visual sound and tone constitutes a kind of background music that doesn't directly attract attention, but still bring relief and stirs mindfulness. Pictures by Łukasz Zgrzebski are only apparently soothing or just to a certain degree. You could flip though these pictures like you would a Scandinavian furniture catalogue. However, that peace and order is a minimalist illusion. We are taken in by the consistent colour palette and faultless composition. You can take a breath but when you exhale, something deeper starts to emerge.
Such a story might have been a beautiful illustration for finely drawn maps of Eugeniusz Romer acquainting us with frosty North. Such pictures could have appeared on the covers of collector's editions of old-time sagas. Such innocence of view has however been lost. These pictures set an empty stage, that has the faint echos of past trauma. So when we gaze at this deserted landscape, we contemplate it focused and in silence. And at a certain point we feel empathy for those who had to abandon their homes. Then just another few breaths and we realise that they are us.