Pawel Wojtasik

POL (1952). Lives and works in New York.

High Water
2013. Video, color, sound, 9’

Pawel Wojtasik’s installations are poetic and visionary reflections of our culture and the environment we live in. His videos call our attention to the destruction of the oceans, natural disasters, animal experimentation, and the mistreatment of nature. Wojtasik does both short pieces and large installations that explore unusual themes. His aesthetic is rigorously formal, sometimes creating a disconcerting beauty by presenting us with apparently beautiful images that portray a tragedy. High Water is a piece shot in New Orleans post-Katrina. Part of the footage was obtained using a panoramic 360o camera. On the flat surface of the screen, the images are distorted into circles, creating a sense of altered reality. The installation includes shots of the hurricane, an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and a silent interlude in the city of New Orleans in which a trumpeter plays a mournful melody on a rainy day. The video is accompanied by a mysteriously vicious soundtrack, by Stephen Vitiello.

Louisiana’s swamps are eroding at a dangerous pace. Much of the destruction is caused by man, weakening the coast which plays the part of a natural barrier against
hurricanes. High Water involves spectators in the landscape that, despite scarred by human meddling, is fighting to retain its vitality.