Opening: December 16, 1997, 6 p.m.
Exhibition runs from December 16th '97 to January 16th, 1998
Mala Galeria ZPAF/CSW, Plac Zamkowy 8, Warsaw, Poland


Malwina Wieczorek - 'SUNDAY DANDIES'

by Ewa Grzeszczyk

We want to present the work of the first Polish woman artist who practices consciously camp art with relish.

The phenomenon of camp perhaps is not known well in Poland. Nevertheless it certainly influenced and influences still some aspects of culture - American and European - which can be noticed also in our country.

It is difficult to explain the phenomenon of camp, but one can be taught how to recognize it.

Let's see closer but with some distance at the Sunday Dudes of Malwina Wieczorek - and maybe we'll feel some pleasant camp thrill. Because camp relies on humorous approach of the beholder. In addition to some vague irony will be able to see sentimentalism, fancy for what is old fashioned, marginal, queer and grotesque. Camp means also life understood as a theatre and existence as a role playing. It means also making foolish faces and pulling out tongue. Everything is dressed up in very stylized and decorative form. And it is fine, it is supposed to be like that. And if we'll add a taste for androgyny and an exagerated exposure of the artist's own sex, dandyism, cult of strong personalities (like e.g. some movie stars) than we'll have camp with almost all its glory.

Aesthetizing and treating with humour what one deep in his or her soul treats seriously is basic characteristic of camp. It is also possible to play with kitsch. But it is only for people with strong sense of culture and its nuances. So what is the difference between kitsch and camp? What makes the difference is that in camp presence of elements of artificialness and irony is conscious while the kitch is made with serious intentions.

Malwina Wieczorek has already become known in England. One of camp experts who is now writing in Cambridge (the place where camp is present since long ago) his thesis for doctorate made a telephone call to Poland immediately after he received my portrait and expressed his enchantment with words: "Who makes these camp angels? Great! I will buy every amount!"

I think that the Sunday Dandies make perfect example of the camp aesthetics. And if you looking at these pictures will utter words like "sweet", "schmaltzy" or "It is so bad that it is good already" it will mean that you also see the camp in them. Ewa Grzeszczyk

Revealing good taste within bad taste may release what is supressed. A man who insists on noble and proper pleasures deprives himself of pleasure; he incessantly limits a scope of his joys; he excersises his good taste to get out of circulation at last. And here the camp taste joins good taste as a bold and witty kind of hedonism. Thanks to it a man of good taste may regain his good humour and reject the danger of constant frustration. It is good for digestion. (Susan Sontag, Notes on camp)


FOR me photography is the way to experience the world and perfect sport as well. It allows me to keep the distance to reality and to treat this reality as a starting point for further transformations. We can do everything with a photograph, a carrier of image and emotions recorded within a fraction of second. In the works presented here I attempted to "de-temporalize" the picture and to "kitschify" thigns which allowed for the specific behavior of the persons portrayed. All models knew well my intentions. Everybody was free to choose his or her costume, look or pose. As everyone can see (I hope so) we all had a fun. And this is what I wish for you too.   Malwina Wieczorek

Openning in "Mala Gallery"

Malwina Wieczorek
born 1968 in Lodz

Graduated from State High School for Visual Arts in Warsaw (1988), was a member of the photographic club Fotoart Hybrydy, graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts (graphics) in Warsaw (1995). She is a book illustrator, a photographer and a print maker.

Selected exhibitions

- Galeria Fotografii Hybrydy, Warsaw (with Mariusz Szachowski)
- Grupa Fotoart, Galeria Fotografii Hybrydy, Warsaw
- POZA, Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw (student exhibition)
-Klub Medykow, Warsaw (group exhibition)
- Maastricht Biennial
- POZA, Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw (student exhibition)
- Europa 1000-2000, Politechnika, Warsaw
- Galeria, Kielce (individual exhibition)
- "He! Bonjour, Monsieur La Fontaine", Brest
- Majdanek Triennial
- POZA, Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw (student exhibition)
- Warszawska Grafika Miesiaca - exhibition accompanying the Biennial of Poster, Warsaw
- Grafika warszawska 1994-96 - exhibition accompanying the International Triennial of Graphic Art, Cracow

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