“Null Hypothesis,” a new series by Polish photographer Jan Cieslikiewicz, bears the trappings of scientific thought. The series takes its title from the name of a hypothesis which posits that the connection between two phenomena is random, unless a scientist proves that it is not at all and is therefore calculable. Considering that Cieslikiewicz went to Harvard to study mathematics and subsequently worked as a Wall Street trader, the theme — or, more to the point, the thrust — of “Null Hypothesis” isn’t surprising.
The photos in the series each show what appear to be unrelated or contradictory components, and it is with this disjunction that Cieslikiewicz seeks to confront viewers regarding their thoughts on and reactions to life’s random events and uncertainties.
“I don’t think humanity as a whole can accept and genuinely come to terms with fundamental randomness and uncertainty,” the photographer says in a statement accompanying the series. “Accepting this view of reality means letting go of everything. That’s a pretty scary concept… given the vastness of our life experiences. But I think an imaginary world where we accept this idea as a given would be a better one.”
“Null Hypothesis” will be at the Circulations festival in Paris until March 5.