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Mala Gallery
8, Zamkowy Sq., Warsaw (Old Town)
May 11 - June 6, 2004



Bogdan Konopka - “Faces”


Pawe³ Ziemilski Jacek Braun

Amy Cameron Christopher Taylor
Bogdan Konopka, from series “Faces”, exhibition in Mala Gallery, Warsaw, May 2004


PHOTOGRAPHS are there to behold because what can be said of things the picture is silent about? Still there is possible to keep silent in a company and that are my meetings. Meeting people is also the only decent reason for photographing them. Calumet smoking, ceremony of tea drinking - all this is for me equally ritual as taking pictures. A tripod allows to use longer exposure times in order to make everything stay apparently longer than it is normally needed. Then the light permeates immutability of the moment, it defines the meeting that has happened.

Bogdan Konopka, written in La Jarretiére, February 10th, 1990.


Krzysztof Rutkowski El¿bieta Cichocka

Marta Cichocka Krzysztof Pruszkowski
Bogdan Konopka, from series “Faces”, exhibition in Mala Gallery, Warsaw, May 2004


IT IS the first time that Bogdan Konopka decides to present to beholders his series of portraits on which he has been working for some time past. There are many reasons why portraiture, one of the most pursued genres of photography is attractive also for these artists, who have a well established idea of their own work they were doing up to the present. It is always kind of a challenge since exactly in this type of photography really outstanding works were being made. Nevertheless Bogdan Konopka has approached this already much exploited subject with humility and modesty. The very fact that he waited so long before he decided to show these pictures bespeaks how strict critic of his own achievements in this area he is. The most important thing for him is "a meeting", achieving a kind of "harmony" with his model. An additional difficulty is the fact that most often the final result of the session is only one exposure - seldom another picture is taken. So it is a kind of sophisticated risk, relying solely on the contact he has to made with the photographed person just before releasing the shutter. The session has to bring about creation of a close relation between the model and the photographer, the relation that is based on mutual trust since the essence of these pictures is not a complete naturalism resulting from faithful registration by the lens placed so close. Both the artist and the model are aware that the final product will be a picture that is hushing up nothing, that technical exactness is not the point. But it does not mean much for Bogdan Konopka. The most important for him is a specific ritual during which he has to adjust light accordingly and to come into contact with the person being photographed. He calls it "a quality of the meeting occurred". So a successful portraiture demands a kind of almost mystical cooperation between the photographer and the photographed. There has to arise some "sincerity of the meeting" - that is why there isn't any constant lighting pattern in these pictures and there isn't any exactly defined cropping or fixed scomposition. The common trait of these pictures, something that makes these photographs a consistent whole is this closeness of the camera and the artist standing behind it. This allows to achieve some kind of truth not only about people being photographed but also about the one that is photographing them. The rest that remains beyond words constitutes the fascinating power of photography.

Marek Grygiel
Warsaw, April 19th, 2004


Anna Ostrega Ma³gorzata Dzieduszycka-Ziemilska

Maria-Veronica Fernandes Valentine Mercier

Patryk Lewkowicz Renata G³owacka
Bogdan Konopka, from series “Faces”, exhibition in Mala Gallery, Warsaw, May 2004


Bogdan Konopka
started to photograph already when he was still in high school. At his beginnings he belonged to Wroclaw photographic milieu. Since 1989 he lives in France. He had many individual exhibitions, received important prizes and grants, published several books of his own photographs. Bogdan Konopka also contributes on regular basis as author to art magazines Format and Kwartalnik Fotografia. The previous exhibition of Bogdan Konopka in the Ma³a Gallery “End and Beginning” was presented in 1998.

The artist is represented by the Gallery Françoise Paviot, Paris.


Mathieu Huez Clement Lepont

Aliska Lahusen Luo Jong Jin

Jacqueline Konopka Petr Kral
Bogdan Konopka, from series “Faces”, exhibition in Mala Gallery, Warsaw, May 2004



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