Izabela Pluta - Bowness Photography Prize Finalists 2021

Monash art gallery , August 20, 2020


Artist statement: My practice embraces photography as a way of interpreting and re-conceptualising the function that images have in the present. Negotiating the possibilities of how material forms come together, I draw primarily on finding, fragmenting, translating and reconfiguring things that are both photographed and found. Conceptually anchored in the effects of globalisation and my own personal experience as a migrant to Australia, my creative pursuit seeks to articulate a fluid mode of moving through, and being in, the world. These ideas have led me to use a discursive photographic vocabulary as a purveyor of temporality, mutability and the impermanence of places. Since 2018 I've been pulling apart atlases and pictorial dictionaries. This new work draws on a 1974 oceanic atlas of the Pacific Ocean to make photographs that are born out of the absence and presence of light and its reaction to the material surface of the object. The photograph's visual language aims to reconsider the perception of borders and demarcations through a haptic, camera-less printing process that echoes the physical features of oceans and gestures toward the erasure of coastlines and invented depths. The detailed scientific data represented in the source material is unhinged by the contact negatives that I make by passing light through the original artefact in the darkroom. It thereby forms a fictitious diagram, making it both a document and an erasure of borders and coastlines.

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