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Mala Gallery
8, Zamkowy Sq., Warsaw (Old Town)
June 3-29, 2003



Wanda Michalak: „Dialogues, dialogues...”


Wanda Michalak: „Dialogues, dialogues...”
Mala Gallery, Warsaw, June 2003


PORTRAIT PHOTOS - that is how the pictures of Wanda Michalak from her series „Dialogues, dialogues ...” can be defined. Portrait is the most classic but also at the same time the most difficult branch of photography. It is very attractive for photographers. Endless wealth of human types and variety of their faces is the reason why so many portraits is taken. Photographer’s intention is to capture definitively in photographed persons’ looks this what decides about not only their external attributes but also about their psychological features.

Wanda Michalak: „Dialogues, dialogues...”
Mala Gallery, Warsaw, June 2003

The portrait is also a kind of dialogue between photographer and person being photographed. It is the dialogue in which crossing the line between assuming artificial pose and unconstrained and natural behaviour during session is hard.

Wanda Michalak in her series of portraits does not comply with all these rules entirely and she aptly named this series of photographs „Dialogues, dialogues ...” since it is not she alone that is conducting a kind of conversation with photographed persons but also these persons are conversing to each other. Perhaps they are not doing it in a direct way - the photographs seem to be posed or even staged, but some of these pictures when juxtaposed with others do open new and unexpected associations, as it is in case of the picture of a man with a photograph of some exotic bird placed next to him.

There is something in these photographs that links them together or differentiates them (eyes of a cat and of a girl, similiar smiles of two models, confrontation of nudity of a woman standing in the middle of picture with glances of her lady friends standing around. Wanda Michalak do not adhere strictly to convention of portrait, figures photographed by her and placed at diffferent distances seem to cross a frame, sometimes relation between these persons, dialogue they are conducting is expressed by the picture’s title (A girl in a fur cap and a boy standing near by).

Wanda Michalak through these apparently disarranged potraits expresses not only her relation towards photographed persons but also towards herself - e.g. in cases when we are looking at her selfportrait juxtaposed with a photograph of her adolescent son. It proves once again that photography may not only „confirm someone’s existence” but may also evoke some further reaching interpretations concerning relations between people. It happens not only when we are witnessing violent events (wars, natural disasters etc.) but also when photographed persons assume static poses just few meters away from the camera’s lens.

Photography brings things nearer and carries them away at the same time - it links and divides them. Often only consciously made decision of a photographer decides which option prevails.

Marek Grygiel


Wanda Michalak: „Dialogues, dialogues...”
Mala Gallery, Warsaw, June 2003


Wanda Michalak: „Dialogues, dialogues...”
Mala Gallery, Warsaw, June 2003


Wanda Michalak: „Dialogues, dialogues...”
Mala Gallery, Warsaw, June 2003


Wanda Michalak (1952)
Born in Warsaw, Poland. Works and lives in Amsterdam

Carrington Polytechnic Design School, Auckland, New Zealand

Selected Exhibitions
1990 - Portraits, Auckland, NZ
1991 - "The Four Elements "( group exhibition) Gallery De Moor, Amsterdam
1992 - "The Moor Inside Out "( photo-project) Gallery De Moor, Amsterdam
1992 - Selected Works, Gallery Spectrum, Amsterdam
1993 - Double Exhibition, Galeria Panorama-Patio, Warsaw, Poland
1993 - Travel Photography - Ghana, (group exhibition) Gallery De Moor, Amsterdam
1994 - "New Horizons "Lubljana, Slovenia
1994 - "Natural Connections "Gallery De Moor, Amsterdam
1995 - "Slavic Connections " (ACF) Amsterdam Centrum voor Fotografie
1995 - Portaits of Slavic Women (duo exhibition), Hoorn, Netherlands
1996 - Project 17x17x17 ( group exhibition) ACF, Amsterdam
1997 - "Venus Nova "Studio M Bozeny Marki, Warsaw, Poland
1997 - World Watching" Galeria FF, Lodz, Poland
1997 - "Venus Nova "and "Slavic Connections" Schwarzenbergplatz 4, Vienna, Austria
1999 - "World Watching II"Instituto Portugues de Fotografia, Lisbon, Portugal
1999 - "About Men" Mala Galeria ZPAF (Centre for Contemporary Art) Warsaw, Poland
1999 - "Venus Nova" (group exhibition), Gallery ArkA, Breda, The Netherlands
1999 - "World Watching " ACBEU Gallery, Salvador de Bahia, Brasil
1999 - "Ontmoetingen" (group exhibition), Grote Kerk, Breda, The Netherlands
2000 - "Men About", Gallery WM, Amsterdam
2000 - 1956 -1996 Photoproject - Europa Dag Express (9 mei 2000), The Netherlands
2000 - "I Love to be Landscape", Scheltema Trappengalerij, Amsterdam
2000 - "Polen in Bijlmer"( group exhibition) De Bijlmer Galerie, Amsterdam
2001 - "Australia on the Line", Franjostudio - Raam Galerie, Amsterdam
2001 - "Self and Friends"(group exhibition), ACF, Amsterdam
2001 - "20 x 20 Inches of Holland"(group exhibition) Gallery WM, Amsterdam
2001 - "World Watching", Gallery WM, Amsterdam
2001 - "De fotograven avond" (group exhibition), ABC Tree House Gallery, Amsterdam
2001 - "Selfish" (group exhibition), Gallery WM, Amsterdam
2002 - "American Bookshop Calender" (group exhibition), ABC Tree House Gallery, Amsterdam
2002 - "World Watching" (duo exhibition), Galerie Objectief, Enschede, The Netherlands
2002 - Open Ateliers de Jordaan, Amsterdam
2002 - Poolse Biennale (group exhibition) Brielle, The Netherlands
2002 - "Image of Desire" (group exhibition), Winston Hotel, Amsterdam
2002 - "Tweede fotograven avond" (group exhibition), ABC Tree House Gallery, Amsterdam
2002 - "25 Years Jubileum" (group exhibition), Mala Galeria ZPAF, Warsaw
2002 - "World Watching", Galerie Donker, Gorinchem, The Netherlands
2002 - "Duister" (group exhibition GKF members), Galerie Melkweg, Amsterdam

"World Watching" Published by LTM, Warsaw (Poland) - 1997
Respublica Nowa: illustrations (1994-2002)
Motor Puls Magazine: 1996 - Ghana (illustrations)

Works in Collections
Mobil Oil, Vienna, Austria
Private collections in New Zealand, Poland, The Netherlands, Norway, USA


Wanda Michalak: „Dialogues, dialogues...”
Mala Gallery, Warsaw, June 2003



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04 - 06 - 2003