Photography can do everything. We have already become accustomed to that. The 250 exhibitions we have presented at MALA GALERIA in the last twenty years are ONE proof of the diversity of photographic possibilities. In these two decades we have tried to stay true to our initial program from the late 1970s – when the situation in art was not as “post-modernist” oriented as it is nowadays. In each exhibition we tried to maintain the presence of the essential in photography, even when artists worked with film, video, drawing or installations. Therefore, MALA GALERIA has had its “more photographic” and “less photographic” periods. However, photography is in any case the core and the basis of all the works one is confronted with in MALA GALERIA.
The selection of the (Polish) artists whose works are shown in the PHOTOGALERY VIENNA illustrates this vividly. All four artists have already exhibited at MALA GALERIA, they all started with pure photography and are now pursuing their own independent artistic path.
The most important element in Krzystof Cichosz‘s large-format works is the search for order, a system, a point of view from which contours and outlines can be discerned that relate to culture, philosophy and art history. The most important component of his compositions is the relationship of rasterization using the example of printing, which distinguishes the possibility of reading these images from other variants of seeing.
Mauricy Gomulicki‘s special use of color gives his cibachromes impressionistic character – the outlines of human figures and indeterminate nature are recognized. The photographs radiate the mystery of existence and admiration for life, but with a very mysterious and mystical palette.
Konrad Kuzyszyn turns his attention directly to himself. In his spatial installations he often uses images of his own naked body in an attempt to capture the essence of the existential problems that have dominated his work from the beginning.
For Krzystof Wojciechowski, photography has always been a pretext for recording ephemeral and fleeting fragments of reality, as manifested in the graffiti seen on walls in Polish cities since the late 1970s. He is also interested in the moral attitudes and choices we make all the time. This is the reason for biblical themes and Christian iconography in his work.
The works of these four artists are indicative of the different developments in contemporary artistic photography in Poland. The dominant tendencies (e.g. the distinct conceptual current of the 1970s or the sociological and social one of the early 1980s) have disappeared.
For contemporary artists, photography has become a particularly versatile medium, liberated from ideology and conventional notions of art. The task of such institutions as MALA GALERIA is to show and pass on these ideas. The future will show how durable they are and whether they can make a new contribution to artistic photography. (Marek Grygiel, Director of MALA GALERIA)