Salt and Pepper × gallery commune present
Kovi Konowiecki “and in its place, another”
Supported by Deadbeat Club

25th Jan Fri – 12th Mar Sat, 2022

At Salt And Pepper 3F

We are having an exhibition of LA based photographer Kovi Konowiecki ; “and in its place, another” co-presented with Salt and Pepper, starting on 25th Feb, Fri.

The show comprises works from Kovi’s first monograph of the same title, published by Deadbeat Club Press in July, 2021. The photographs in the exhibition were taken between 2016 and 2020 in in the Middle East, Mexico, greater Los Angeles and the California desert. Describing this body of work, Konowiecki says:

And In Its Place, Another was created in a much less formal way than most of my other work. Rather than setting out to photograph a particular place or group of people, I started piecing together photos from my many travels to the Middle East and Mexico, as well as photos I was taking near home in California. I started noticing many similarities amongst the work I was making— similarities in composition, form, texture and subject matter, and I continuously asked myself if there was something that pieced these photographs together on a deeper level. I kept coming back to the idea of borders. Not just the physicality of the border though, but also abstract and internal notions of the border. It became apparent to me that there were strong visual connections present in the work that stimulated ideas about place.

Rather than trying to formally divide the work into chapters that show these dif- ferent geographical borders I encountered throughout the making of this body of work, I decided to create one long stream of consciousness; something driv- en by my emotions and my intuition— the same way the creation of this project began. Despite the political realities of many of the communities present in the work, my approach to this body of work is quite distant from the idea of border politics. The goal is for the viewer to travel through the work, moving from place to place, without really knowing where they are and where they are going, but simultaneously feeling grounded to these ‘borderland nowhere places’. In this sense, there is a strong sense of motion and migration taking place throughout the work. The idea of the borderland becomes more of an idea than a particular place. It can be an emotion, it can be an object, it can be a feeling. It is a place that feels like nowhere but anywhere.

As opposed to being a project about place however, And In Its Place, Another became a project about emotion and visual association of the fringes. There is a constant negotiation of light, shadow and time that bring together the photographs and the various open-ended narratives present in the work. Throughout the project, people and objects oftentimes resemble one another through their shapes and composition. In some instances, elements of certain photographs disappear and then reappear as completely different figures or forms. Other times, things slightly change forms or degrade completely over time. Through these various forms of repetition and experimentation, the project became a way to explore my own visual and conceptual borders, and challenge some of the preconceived notions I had about my work, my practice, and my relationship to photography.

Kovi Konowiecki (b.1992) was born in Long Beach, California, and has spent much of the past five years between Los Angeles and Mexico City. He holds a BA in Media Communications from Wake Forest University and an MA in Photography from University of the Arts London. After playing professional soccer in Europe, he turned to photography as a way to document the things around him and shed light on different aspects of his identity. Kovi was selected to be a part for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize in 2016, 2018 and 2019, and was the first ever nominee to have two images shortlisted for the first place prize. He was also a 2021 Aperture Portfolio Prize finalist, an honorable mention for the 2020 Hariban Award (Kyoto, Japan), and was a Red Hook Labs New Artist in 2018. Kovi has been featured and published on platforms such as The New Yorker, British Journal of Photography, i-D, The Guardian and The California Sunday Magazine, amongst many others. This is Kovi’s fourth solo exhibition, and he has exhibited his work in galleries and museums such as ROSEGALLERY (Santa Monica, CA), Salut Au Monde! (Porto, Portugal), and The National Portrait Gallery in London. In 2018, Kovi co founded a small publication, Mula Press, to explore his love for book making and to publish personal projects and special artist editions. Kovi just released his first monograph with Deadbeat Club Press in July, 2021.