Fotograf Magazine

Karolina Wojtas

A Hot Dog with Toothpaste, Anyone?

Polish artist Karolina Wojtas doubtless has a lot of fun creating her photographs and installations. This usually seems inconsistent with the depth of thought her photographs suggest. Even so, this is exactly what her photographs are: a fluid mix of various kinds of humor, bizarre elements, practical jokes, children’s jokes, and bullying.

Karolina Wojtas explores the world of fun chil- dren have, but also sadness, self-doubt, cruelty and trauma. She ambiguously examines the world of supervision, coercion, upbringing, punishment and abuse, but also self-harm and clashes with the adults’ view of education. She allows her photographs to interpenetrate with installations, video and events, transforming series of photographs into objects and assembling collages on her website.

In recent years, Karolina Wojtas has been a permanent fixture at a number of festivals and larger shows, as well as award ceremonies and school exhibitions: she is concurrently studying photography at the film school in Łódź and the Institute of Creative Photography in Opava. She currently has a show on at the Noordelicht festival. Her images fit perfectly with the festival theme: Generation Z. She observes attentively the world of her brother, thirteen years her junior and somewhat plump. In her photographs, he becomes a temporary object; he is staged, dying many times, undergoing the most varied humiliations and tortures: “I was an only child until age thirteen. Whenever my parents asked me whether I’d like a sibling, I told them: ‘I’ll take an axe, kill the kid and then eat it.’ One day, he appeared, and our war began. Now I’m twenty-three and the war continues. Nothing’s changed. So we decided to document some of our battles and tricks. Siblings around the world, learn to fight!” This is what Karolina Wojtas wrote to me about her currently unfinished project We Can’t Live. The final product will be an online course on how to find love and the photographs should represent various romantic situations; how love is materialized in our deeds and actions, in the artifacts we create or buy. Wojtas makes use of the visual style of amateur photography on the internet and is gradually publishing the work on her website. In addition to temporally limited gallery installations, these are doubtless the perfect platform on which to show her constantly changing works. She accompanies the work with a statement: “Dear sibling owners. Stay strong and don’t stop fighting for your place. Show those average creatures that are also made from the blood and body of your parents, that their worst nightmares are merely a fairytale in comparison to what you can think up.”

Tomáš Pospěch

#37 Uneven ground

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