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Presence (1984-1985)

Selected from the monumental Sociological Record, the photographs are united by the image of John Paul II appearing in the background.

In 1988 an album devoted to this cycle of the same title was created.

„The Presence” is a book about the popular, mass worship of John Paul II; a story about how he “settled under Polish thatched roofs” and about the hope placed in that presence. The narration of the book is conducted through two complementary media: a text by Józefa Hennelowa and photographs by Rydet. The book published by the Calvarianum monastic publishing house can be regarded as a model example of the dissident discourse against official communist propaganda that was allowed at the end of the Polish People’s Republic (there are no traces of censorship interference, but there is the imprimatur of the Metropolitan Curia). However, while the political context of “The Presence” has almost completely disappeared over time, or at least has lost its black-and-white characteristics, the photographs retain the power of historical testimony and still intrigue with their directness in terms of the subject and the spirit of the times. Rydet’s documentalism was highlighted by juxtaposing it with the very solemn tone of the text

Source: www.culture.pl