Karolina Wojtas is best-known as a photographer and creator of diverse photographic objects and installations—often interactive. She is also the winner of numerous grants and awards, including the ING Unseen Talent Award 2019 in Amsterdam. As she writes of herself, she “lives in a world of experimentation and endless fun.” She draws inspiration from her home village in Podkarpacie, but also from the world of fashion or modern science.
In her projects, she often uses intense colour and glitter, and in staged situations, as in her series of photographs about school, she blurs the boundaries between violence and play.
In this light, “Sh2-199” might seem a pastiche of computer wallpaper available on the internet depicting distant nebulae and deep space. But in reality this is analogue film on which she poured “various nastiness” after first photographing diverse “dust and dirt.” She treated this home-made chemistry experiment as a point of departure for a composition resembling far-off galaxies. As is often the case with Wojtas, the sublime blends with the cheap and gawdy. At the same time, the artist almost casually alludes to the tradition of analytical photography, which addresses the conditions for formation of the image, making the medium of photography itself the subject of her investigations.