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Interview

ING Unseen Talent Award 2019: Meet Karolina Wojtas

text:
Futures Photography
Date:
September 6, 2019
Every year, ING, Unseen, and Futures work together for the ING Unseen Talent Awards. For this edition, it was selected five finalists from Futures: Elena Aya Bundurakis, Ulla Deventer, Irene Fenara, Kevin Osepa and Karolina Wojtas. The winners will be announced on the 19th of September.

Coached by Adam Broomberg, from the artistic duo Broomberg & Chanarin, the five finalists are currently producing the exhibition 'Nature of Change', that will be opened during the Unseen Amsterdam, between the 20th and 22nd of September.

In this interview, meet one of the finalists, Karolina Wojtas. Wojtas is an artist based in Lodź, Poland. She takes a colourful, chaotic approach to subjects like childhood, education and love. In her works for the ING Unseen Talent Awards, she has been researching the relationship among siblings, basing it in her own relationship with her little brother, Kuba.

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Can you explain to us a little about your practice? What inspires you?

I am trying to take a theme for my close neighbourhood, which I use my memory or ordinary things. For that to work, I usually use my super gorgeous team, which one part is my lovely model brother Kuba, and the greatest creator, my granddad. With that team, I can build everything!

(For this work) I was asking my friends about their memories connected to their siblings; how were they torturing them? And it appeared there were very cruel stories, which left a mark for all their lives. Moreover, throughout this process, I also found web forums which kids were looking for advice to torture their siblings, or more, how to throw them out of their lives – even how to kill them! It was very weird!

As one of the finalists of the ING Unseen Talent Award, you're going to participate in an exhibition during the Unseen Amsterdam. What have you been working on for the exhibition?

I was wondering if I could find an easier way to do it, but it appeared it wasn't as easy as I thought. I realized that I usually used my brother as a model to my works, and with that I was doing a bad thing to him. He calls me a monster. This made me think: how did it go this way?

As Adam’s advice, we tried to do something together, which wasn’t easier. We were torturing each other for 2 months. It was a horror! But I hope we created a manual for siblings of what not to do.

In this process, I realized that I was the only child for 13 years. At any time, when my parents asked me about siblings, I used to tell them: "I will take an axe and kill that kid and then eat it". It was very curious.

In this process, you have been tutored by Adam Broomberg. How has this experience been for you?

It was quite hard because I was totally stressed out with the competition. Moreover, it was a short time to create a new body of work.
Adam gives us advices on how to improve our works, to maybe break our own rules. But it kind of messed me up a little, and I had a problem to get back on my way. But this was a great lesson, to know other points of view.

In sessions with all the winners, it was a great opportunity to see how other people on the project work. All of us are doing a completely different thing, which it was great to see. I can’t wait to see all in real life.

In the end, I decided to follow my ideas, maybe it was a wrong decision, but we will see. No risks, no fun!

Support your favorite artist for the ING Unseen Talent Award 2019. The online public voting is now open! You can choose between the five Futures Talents who are finalists of the award.

Vote here

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