As the title of Kovi Konowiecki’s debut monograph – and in its place, another – reminds us, we are always and forever subject to the twin certitudes of transience and change. As is the artist, who has moved back and forth between California, Mexico, Europe, and the Middle East, all of which places are part of the fabric of this sprawling, unscripted book.
Here we are confronted with the geographical and emotional margins of society and the mind: the external and internal boundaries that inhibit both human movement and human potential. The photographs portray individuals and communities that exist in a liminal space between belonging and abandonment, many of which exert feelings of desolation.
But what might seem on the surface political is made intensely personal through Konowiecki’s purposeful reliance on emotional connections in the pictures rather than specific relationships of place or subject. As he says, this work comes as a “happy accident, inspired by the frequent travels that nourished a sharp eye for the liminal types of communities to which I am drawn: people I have met in my wanderings, passersby in the street, a horse trained in a small Arab village, and untended gardens.”
The “unscripted” nature of the work has an impact on the form of the book, in particular in the variety of genres and colors, from landscape photography to portraiture and from black and white to color. The various forms of expression serve as ways to materialize the ideas at the core of the project and to break down barriers or restrictions within the photographic medium.