Moments of Love and Apathy
Dates2019 - Ongoing
- Locations New South Wales, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Zealand
Moments of Love and Apathy is an ongoing project concerned with the relationship between landscape photography and environmental conservation under settler colonialism. Specifically in relation to the establishment of national parks that occurred in Australia and the USA in the late 19th century. During this time, photography and conservation’s common function of mythologising land as both empty space (to be invaded, mined and occupied) and wilderness (to be protected and territorialized) played out actively and simultaneously across the Pacific.
In this project I engaged with state archive collections related to the Royal National Park proclamation in Australia. Adjacent to this, I visited and made images at conservation sites in New South Wales (Aus), Rhode Island and Massachusetts (USA). I am interested in how photographing these sites might render visible or invisible the colonial logics and histories that afforded settlers a sense of romantic communion with nature, and the violences that socially and politically stratified such land.
The project combines photogravure, digital 3D softwares and analogue film processes as a means to de-familiarising myself with traditional photographic codes. Drawing connections between glass and lenses, 3D scanning and mapping, images appear broken or fragmented, and questions of representation, fidelity, believability and trust are called into question. As a result, the motif of the ‘orb’ becomes a locus by which I connect optical apparatuses and photographic methods to the visual epistemologies of the enlightenment-age.
Kai Wasikowski is an Australian multi-disciplinary artist. As a child of photographers/environmentalists, his practice is primarily concerned with the experience of growing up with a reverence for the natural environment, while living adjacent to ecological degradation and rapid technological development.
With Australian settler & Polish heritage, Wasikowski uses photography to better understand his own positionality in relation to the impacts of settler colonialism, and the inseparability of environmental justice from its structural violences. Wasikowski’s projects have engaged with western traditions of landscape photography, with an interest in the instrumentality of the camera—how it and various optical technologies prescribe ways of seeing whilst simultaneously constructing an unseen. Employing visual devices of trompe l'oeil, various imaging technologies and printing techniques, Wasikowski is interested in addressing the camera’s mediation, his hand and the act of spectatorship when looking at images.
Kai completed a Bachelor of Visual Arts (Honours with University Medal) at the Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney in 2016. Kai's graduate work was recognised through awards such as the SCA Dean’s Honours Award and the Dr. Harold Schenberg Art Fellowship. Recently Kai was awarded a full scholarship from the Rhode Island School of Design to undertake a Masters of Fine Art in Photography.