Drawing on a series of darkroom contact prints titled Spatial misalignments – which were conceived by shining light through the pages of three long-out-of-print editions of The Reader’s Digest Great World Atlas – Sydney-based photographer and artist Izabela Pluta’s debut book bears witness to the turbulence, mutability and power structures that both prop up and undermine the static dogmas of the global map. In these richly and elusively detailed images, the world as we knew it blurs and collapses in on itself, flow and miasma gently erasing the borders and demarcations – the strategic fictions and mythologies – to which we’ve anchored our semantics of place.
Underscored by a collaborative text work by Melbourne poet Lisa Gorton and an experimental essay by Art Gallery of NSW Senior Curator of Contemporary Australian Art Isobel Parker Philip, Figures of slippage and oscillation reappraises our philosophical and conceptual grappling with geography and cartography. Here, the fog of arbitrariness bankrupts the law and lore of our oceans and lands; the echo of violence, migration and climatic shift belies our borders. In the process, Pluta whispers to the fragility of our geological, environmental and societal condition. As the oceans wash through our now quaint delineations, she archives our loss.
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