I interpret and re-conceptualise the function that images have in the present – how they depict the world they operate within, not only in relation to the mobility of images but in response to the movement of people and the experiences they embody. Izabela Pluta
Izabela Pluta is a Polish-born, Australian artist, who interprets and re-conceptualises the function of photographic images by fragmenting, translating and reconfiguring things that are both photographed and found. Recent works have used outdated atlases and pictorial dictionaries to reconsider systems of navigation and land demarcations, creating works that query the concept of territory and deep time. Pluta has also drawn on experiences of deep-sea diving, incorporating imagery from underwater ruins and submerged rock formations, and used camera-less printing processes to echo the shape of land and ocean.
At the centre of this exhibition is the new installation ‘Variable depth, shallow water’ 2021 that visits the underwater limestone rock formation known as The Azure Window on the island of Gozo in Malta. Pluta was drawn to the site as one of the world’s most spectacular expressions of geological time and investigated the changing location with images, video, objects and sound. The work includes corrupted data filmed using a drone lost at sea and subsequently retrieved. It also incorporates handmade contact negatives of unhinged atlases; acrylic artefacts recast from the depths of where the Pacific Ocean and the East China Sea meet, and images of the Australian landscape. An accompanying series of new photographs will translate an Oceanic Atlas of the Pacific Ocean and its data to form a new work that draws out the conflated languages of photography and the nuances they embody as physical objects.
Banner: Izabela Pluta, ‘Variable depth, shallow water’ 2020. Silver gelatin photographs, pigment prints on aluminium, dye-sublimation prints, polyester waddling straps, two-way acrylic, aluminium, polyester resin. Image courtesy: the artist and Gallery Sally Dan-Cuthbert, Sydney