"Epic Film Stills (Out of Africa 1:27)", 2001, plexi, aluminum, polyester Light Jet  print.

“Epic Film Stills (Out of Africa 1:27)”, 2001, plexi, aluminum, polyester Light Jet print.

Justyna Badach

Movement is as much planned in the mind as it is articulated physically through the body. No less different for an athlete or a performer, an émigré thinks out and imagines their movement to a new home prior to the physical event.

The series, “Epic Film Stills”, by Justyna Badach, who emigrated from Eastern Europe, connects to both Muybridge’s study of movement and his photographs of the expansionist pursuits in the American West. Muybridge, who immigrated to the US from England in 1852, along with Charles Watkins and others, photographed the western landscape and recent US government land acquisitions. These images were in contrast to the times in which they were taken. While photographs showed rolling hills, lush forests, and vast tundra, railroad companies were clearing forests and animal herds to make way for advancing technological pathways that would link the US from coast to coast.

Badach creates her images by photographing projected contemporary Hollywood films, appropriating classical 19th century landscape painting compositions, and depicting “unclaimed” grand vistas of the American West. Their seductive qualities evoke limitless possibilities and instill a desire to move toward their promise.

Justyna Badach earned her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, MI, and her BFA from the University of the Arts College of Art and Design in Philadelphia. Her work has been featured in exhibitions at the Philadelphia Print Center, White Columns in NYC, the Philadelphia International Airport, SOHO 20 Gallery in NYC, Perkins Center for the Arts in Morestown, and resides in the Collection of the Museet for Fotokunst Brandts in Denmark, as well as many private collections nationwide. She teaches art at Drexel University in Philadelphia and has also taught at Maine College of Art and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.