In response to the reopening of Chicago institutions affected by the COVID-19 crisis, Without a Trace features a selection of photographs by photojournalist Zbigniew Bzdak.
These works were first published in March 2020 in the Chicago Tribune and presented to the public astonishing views of emptiness in the streets of Chicago, following the stay at home order of Governor J.B. Pritzker in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Without a Trace aims to provide a space for healing and reflection for everyone who has been impacted by the consequences of a worldwide health crisis. As we discover ourselves to be deeply fragile in this equilibrium that links us to nature, the images of an empty city of Chicago remind us how precarious our human condition can be.
About Zbigniew Bzdak
Zbigniew Bzdak is a former staff photographer of the Chicago Tribune, where he worked for almost 20 years. His assignments included the war in Iraq, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the 2008 campaign of Barack Obama, and the first 100 days of President Obama’s first term. He left his native Poland to photograph kayaking expeditions exploring white-water rivers in Mexico and Peru.
A Closer Look
Explore more of Bzdak’s work below. Hover over the image to magnify and examine the finer details of the photo.
Learn more about this incredible exhibit from the photojournalist himself. We sat down with Zbigniew Bzdak to discuss the incredible imagery of this exhibit and explore the larger themes and feelings that it evokes. You can watch the full interview below and download this guided worksheet to aid in your own personal reflection.