Kovi Konowiecki (b.1992) was born in Long Beach, California. 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 shortlisted for the 2016 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize and was the first ever nominee to have two images shortlisted for the first place prize. He also been featured and published on platforms such as i-D, British Journal of Photography and The Guardian, amongst many others.
Borderlands is about the physical and internal borders that disrupt human beings. The project seeks to connect disruptive human emotions with physical borders that exist in our surroundings, and ultimately is about figuring out ways to cross these boundaries. The photographs clash physical interpretations of borders taken from personal endeavors and life experiences with more abstract and metaphorical interpretations of borders that are drawn from human emotion. Amidst the more abstract forms of expression, the images of fences, mountains and walls are reminders of the physical divisions between countries and communities that exist in reality, as well as metaphors for the internal obstacles that disrupt human beings. The photographs portray individuals and communities that exist in a liminal space between belonging and abandonment, many of which exert feelings of desolation. The photographs also seek to break down the borders and barriers that the subjects within them endure.
The ‘unscripted’ nature of the work has an impact on its style, in particular in the variety of genres and colors—from landscape photography to portraiture and from black and white to color—that the images of Borderlands belong to. The various forms of expression serve as a ways to materialize the ideas at the core of the project and to break down barriers or restrictions within the photographic medium.
The photographs were taken from 2015-2017 in Watts (CA), Long Beach (CA), the California desert, Mexico and Israel.
To view more of Kovi Konowiecki’s work please visit his website.