Bogdan KonopkaPoland - 1953
30 Nov 2011 - 14 Jan 2012
Born in 1953 in Dynow (Poland), Bogdan Konopka studied at the photography department of the Cinema School in Warsaw (1978-1981). He is the co-founder of the movement Fotografia Elementaria in the Foto-Medium-Art Gallery and the founder of the Post Scriptum Gallery.
Konopka’s early photographs portray the city where he was born – a place that was almost completely destroyed and abandoned by reconstruction – he shows the apocalyptic atmosphere that prevails there.
Living in France since 1989, Bogdan Konopka continues to work on the evolution of European cities. He photographs their hidden and fragile faces, pushing doors, visiting backyards, getting lost in deserted buildings. His steps lead to a kind of quest for La Ville Invisible, which seems emptied of its inhabitants.
In 1998, for the Vevey International Photo Award, Bogdan Konopka described his project as follows: “I want to continue my exploration of La Ville Invisible in this part of Europe that I left ten years ago. Expressing this relationship between time and space through photography is first of all an inner necessity: it is not about finding my roots, but confronting myself to demolished spaces.
Based on the construction of La Nouvelle Europe, I have planed an itinerary of different cities chosen from my address book: Berlin, Dresden, Gdansk, Lodz, Tallinn, Ljubljana, Budapest, Ostrava, Prague, Cluj, Sofia… unknown cities for the most, whose names are associated with friendships born from encounters during my previous work on Paris.”
“In images of the most subtle richness and depth, Bogdan Konopka reinvents the art of photography, creating metallic blacks. His chalky urban landscapes and cavernous interiors with blurred contours catch the eye with a magnetic force. In all of these images, timelessness is prevailing; even contemporary architecture is photographed as if it was 1000 years old.” The jury of the Vevey International Photo Award unanimously praised the work of Bogdan Konopka with these words, allowing him to travel around Central Europe for two years to realize his project.
The small black and white images of Reconnaissances seem impregnated with melancholy and characterized by the struggle of passing time. They portray static moments, in the manner of a still life.
In 1998, Bogdan Konopka won the second Vevey International Photo Award, organized by the Festival Images.