Bio / Statement

Self-portrait from a biscuit tin camera, 2018. A self-portrait photographed with a self-made camera constructed from a buscuit tin. Photograph made at the darkroom for World Pinhole Day, April 25 2018. Animation created from an assemblage of individual contact-prints made from the paper negative.

Deeply involved with photography from a young age, William Mokrynski (b.1969 Canada) put his camera aside in 2013 to shift his photographic paradigm from capturing the world of the present through a lens to delving into the realms of place and time within the global vernacular archive, mainly through photographic negatives. Mokrynski transposed his photography from exploring the street to a search of thrift shops, social media, and the online marketplace. Taking cues from Rauschenberg, Bacon, and Boltanski, Mokrynski approaches photographic finds as material waiting to be activated. He is photographically searching for how we arrived at the world we occupy today.

At 12, Mokrynski set up a darkroom in his parent’s basement and began working as a photojournalist at 16. He studied photography and new media at the Ontario College of Art and Design in Toronto, while helping found an electronic band that had released several albums internationally. He freelanced in architectural and fashion photography, built kinetic sculpture with scrap electronics, and eventually became the creative director at a digital media agency. Later, he received an MFA in photography at the Edinburgh College of Art / University of Edinburgh.

Mokrynski’s work has been exhibited and published internationally. Most recently, Simon Bainbridge, ex-editorial director of the British Journal of Photography and Magnum Photos, nominated Mokrynski’s book maquette for his Styrannya project for the Star Photobook Dummy Award.

Since 2010, Mokrynski has made London, UK, his home and workplace.