In 2015, I got an opportunity to work with a group of Polish photographers, following an invitation by manager Jens Pepper, and discovered the work of Karolina Wojtas. One of her images especially stuck in my mind: a young boy, eyes closed, whose face is covered by a green plastic bag. Shockingly harsh yet in some way innocent, this and other photographs I came across throughout the show, affirm to the punch and power of Wojtas’s work. I wanted to know more about the story behind her provocative genre-bending work and her upcoming solo program at C/O Berlin, so I invited her to inform me what’s new.
Dinter: You and your sibling– what a combination! When did you understand that your finest model would be “in-house”? What made you decide to deal with him?
Karolina Wojtas: I constantly dreamed about working with the best models and being in that professional world, however getting my foot in the door was challenging.
When I started studying photography, I believed I required expert individuals to work with, but it was daunting. Still, I had to do my research and jobs, so I asked my family to assist. I quickly recognized it was the best choice! With family or friends, I can ask to do anything, plus they have a lot of ideas! They are familiar with my principles, and they don’t question them all the time.
For instance, my grandfather is remarkable. I often ask him to help, and he never refuses. He trusts that I am prepared. And my bro understands intuitively what to do, even when I’m at a loss for concepts. I go to him and state, “Kuba, save me!” Straight away, he’ll offer me crazy concepts to deal with.
seeing your work for the very first time might perceive a few of your images as terrible or unusual. What’s your take on this?
KW: I know, so I typically do not reveal simply a single image however a series. This gives audiences an opportunity to experience and understand the story. It’s really important for me to show my work. It’s not just playing around however something I want to show others.
There’s a lot brutality in movies that we take in every day without even believing, however when it concerns looking at photography, that violence has a much more extensive impact. I take it as a favorable indication of our humanity. I likewise like that with photography, there is no rigorous border in between fact and lies.
I like taking pictures, but the most enjoyable is when it concerns making a vision come true in the type of an exhibit. I always attempt to make the type match the material to stress what I wish to inform. However I’m not scared to take risks and am constantly looking for the very best way to present my work. Often the very same job is displayed in entirely various methods until I discover the ideal kind. I treat it as a personal experiment and attempt not to overthink. Even the stupidest concepts can end up being the ideal choice, so I give myself some time to assess whether it makes good sense. I love theme park and am attempting to achieve a comparable experience with my work.
How do you plan your photo shoots? Have you given that worked with models aside from friends and family? KW: I try to prepare my pictures, but I have
discovered that the most essential thing in my method of working is to accept that advantages can take place by mishap and through intuition. Even if I build a setting, I’m ready for something to fall, to break up the structures, developing something entirely brand-new that is difficult to strategy. I’m like a kid, checking out as numerous foolish concepts as possible.
There are numerous strange hotels, parks, and other locations that I ‘d love to shoot in. We have a lot of odd places in Poland, and I love a garish type of design! The majority of my images feature my friend or family, and I really enjoy the dynamic
. They feel comfortable doing whatever they want. I have likewise begun shooting more style with professional designs– but I still search for the minute when they stop posturing and start playing. Your present show, which opens today at C/O Berlin, is entitled Abzgram– what does that imply? KW: It
a rubbish word. When I remained in high school, we read Ferdydurke by Witold Gombrowicz. Our instructor discussed
that the title of the satirical book was a fabricated word. When I began working on my job some years later, I asked some pals to help me with the title by developing a list of nonsense words. One of the many words was”Abzgram.” For a long period of time, I didn’t understand that switching two of its letters spells “bazgram,”which implies doodling, doing something without sense. The celebration of your brand-new program is your winning the C/O Skill Award. What can we expect to see? KW: It won’t be a typical photographic exhibition– I want it to be an
experienceyou enter and perceive with different senses. Which will restore memories or take you to another world.
I hope it will motivate thinking about education and its essential function in shaping future generations. The exhibit space has actually been prepared like a school structure. You go into through an”unofficial entrance “– a cloakroom, which looks like a ghostly corridor of metal bars. They were cut out from a
high school in Łódź; most schools have them. Then you go to a class, where there are desks– extremely uncomfortable to sit on– which I developed with my grandpa. There is likewise a gym for children and a representative part with an anthem and diplomas. I hope it will be a nice exhibition; I put a great deal of effort into it! I began this task in 2017, so it’s not just recent work but consists of some older work. However to be honest, I’m also a bit terrified! I hope it won’t be a catastrophe and I require to hide forever. I have no concept how to end things, now I will have a book and a big exhibition, which will be a type of ending. Above all, I hope it will be enjoyable, with things to touch and have fun with, so you can travel back to your childhood memories– ideally not just bad ones! Your work is known for its irony and sharp wit– do you feel driven, influenced, or managed by the society you grew up in? KW: I have no concept how to joke. I am bad at conversation. That’s why I choose simply taking images. Yes, I believe my background made me like I am. I matured in a time when everyone
used glitter in their hair, used weird clothing, and kitsch was everywhere– in the town I am from, we even have a colosseum and a pyramid! You were just recently
in the group show State of Emergency situation at ZAK in Berlin. What’s the emergency situation at your end? KW: I can’t state for sure, but in my work, I attempt to focus on stories and problems I do not rather understand and wonder to check out how they work. I have actually dealt with youth, school, and sibling relationships; maybe now it’s time for puppy love. I seem like I’m going through a sort of
postponed teenage years, and through photography, I can endure it. And these are not some foreign, unique stories: I am working on themes
that surround us daily; they are common, in some cases boring. Thanks to this, lots of people can relate to them and relate them to their experiences. Your work has currently been displayed in numerous nations– do you feel that individuals see your work in a different way at home(in Poland)than abroad? KW: It’s easy to describe this utilizing the task about my brother as an example
. In Poland, many individuals take it seriously and send me messages asking if my moms and dads understand what I’m doing with my bro and whether they must inform the cops. Abroad it’s more like, “Oh, what beautiful brother or sisters! You can see that you enjoy each other!”What’s next for
you? KW: After finishing from university, I still felt lost. But lastly, I have actually acknowledged that I can’t do anything aside from follow my passion for taking ridiculous images
. I hope one day I can earn a living from it. Fingers crossed that I will have one more book this year– it will be a bath book. I hope it will be printed in time to have a pool party for the launch! Right now, I have actually lost a little my day-to-day sense of interest and enjoyable, however I hope I will quickly return to the ideal path. What’s the approach behind your photography in a nutshell?
KW: Baw się! That’s Polish. However in English, it sounds kind of silly. It suggests something like”Have a good time”or “Simply play “I have no idea how to equate it properly. Basically to play like kids play– no thinking, no evaluating, just pure enjoyable and delight. Check out https://www.karolinawojtas.com/ and Karolina’s IG account @matriioszka The exhibition: Abzgram by Karolina Wojtas, opens on 27 January 2023, 7 pm, at C/O Berlin.Duration: 28 January
— 4 May 2023