Pausing the course of events. Keeping the feeling of excitement for as long as possible. Looking forward to the end of the story. Cliffhanger, or the suspension of a plot at a time of mounting tension, is a device invented for the needs of serialised novels – it has now spread into many other areas – in order to maintain people’s interest in a world where excess prevails. It incentivises us to wait for the next season of a TV series, to buy the next book in a series, or endure the long strings of commercials during a movie. Apparently, the sense of the unknown captivates and stirs the imagination. Yet, recently cliffhangers have permeated from the world of entertainment to the real world, and rather than being associated with excitement, the feeling of suspense and mystery arouses anxiety and frustration. We look forward to the end of the story, but when it comes, we hope for more plot twists.

Cliffhanger consists of works from a few projects which are based on archival pictures from photo banks. They attempt to capture the tensions and fears that we have come to face nowadays. Inundated with news about emerging threats and not quite optimistic forecasts for the future, we begin to sense the end of reality as we know it. Scratches start to appear on the idyllic pictures that make up a large portion of our privileged world. We are no longer able to function in an artificially created reality where everything, from our image to the way we spendour leisure time, must be perfect.

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Cliffhanger by Weronika Gesicka

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