Wanda Michalak Photography

Wanda Michalak"cruisers" 2009
Wanda Michalak "Ten" Angola 2009


“Ten” is an unusual exhibition for Wanda Michalak in several ways. One of these is, undoubtedly, that this will probably be the last of her exhibitions that she will curate herself personally at the Gallery WM in the foreseeable future. Moreover, it is the last exhibition – in a long line of exhibitions, spanning exactly ten years – that will be organised by her and Paul before handing over the reigns of gallery-operations to me and Nahuel Blaton. In fact, “Ten’ celebrates 10 years of WM’s existence under her auspices.

Thus, it marks an end to her curatorial activities at WM as well as a beginning. Not only as a beginning of new management of the Gallery she started, but also the beginning of a new life at one of the world’s symbolic extremities; Australia.

The current exhibition, I think, reflects this period of transformation or, as we anthropologists like to call it, this ‘liminal phase’.
Without going into the particularities of each individual photograph, the exhibition as a whole seems, in essence, to be a quest for perfection. Perhaps even a quest for a ‘Tabula Rasa’. We have already encountered this search for an unaltered, untainted and pristine world in Michalak’s ongoing series; ‘World Watching’. Whereas ‘World Watching’ incorporated the (her own) naked body into the captured landscapes - an imagination of how the world would ‘feel’ at the very beginning of humanity’s tentative steps and subsequent immersion into Terra Incognita - “Ten” leaves out the human corpus altogether. “Ten” seems to be, rather unsettlingly, an imagination of being on the brink, the edge of a precipice of the unknown, the last vestige of Terra Firma before the Great Leap.

“Ten” then, is more than just the sum of its individual imageries. Images – to be sure – resonant with beauty, poetry and a transcendental aesthetic. Rather, it is a vista of a New World. A world not yet peopled by visions and versions of the Self. A world not yet appropriated, not yet embodied. A world that has yet to be explored.
We, the recipients of Wanda’s imagination and Paul’s perseverance, wish them both the very best and the most of luck in their explorations to come.

Sebastian Rypson

Wanda Michalak "Ten" Lord Howe Island 2009
wanda michalak "ten" 2009
Wanda Michalak "" 2009
Wanda Michalak "Ten" Tasmania 2009

Wanda Michalak "Ten" Lord Howe Island 2009

Wanda Michalak "Ten"2009
Wanda Michalak "Ten"Lord Howe Island 2009