Perimeter Editions x Izabela Pluta | Sydney Book Launch

Izabela Pluta – Nihilartikel

To celebrate the release of the new publication Nihilartikel (Perimeter Editions 076), come along to UNSW Galleries for a drink and learn more about the expanded photographic practice of Izabela Pluta in a conversation with Nicholas Croggon. The launch takes place on Thursday, March 16 from 5.30pm.

Izabela Pluta’s exhibition ‘Nihilartikel’ was first presented at UNSW Galleries in January 2022 and travelled to Watt Space at the University of Newcastle as part of the New Annual arts festival. 

UNSW Galleries
Cnr of Oxford St and Greens Rd
Paddington, NSW 2021
Thursday, March 16 2023
From 5.30pm

This is a free event, but registrations are required here.

The German term nihilartikel is used to describe the little known practice of inserting intentional errors, falsities or fictitious entries into reference texts – academic works, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps, directories – for the purpose of later identifying plagiaries, copies or other infringements to intellectual copyright. Taking this somewhat elusive practice as its subtext, Izabela Pluta’s major new book approaches photography and its central quandaries of authenticity and representation from a series of unsettled and dynamic vantages.

Here, the Polish-born, Australian-based artist forges a syntax using photographs gleaned from aerial drone footage and moving-image stills filmed underwater in Malta and Japan, and traditional darkroom prints made with out-of-print and otherwise obscure oceanic maps. Ancient surfaces and architectures ripple with evidence of their deep time; boulders emerge, stealth-like, from the blue depths; cartography collapses in on itself; all in a sequence punctuated by vibrant interplays of colour, layer, texture and form.

Working in fluid collaboration with designers Paul Mylecharane and Kim Mumm Hansen, Pluta depicts the ocean and its surrounding landscapes as a fallible and contested space. Official accounts are called into question, and expanded photographic materialities, juxtapositions and graphic formalism work to fragment established systems of knowledge. Pluta’s conceptual pith lies in the exploration, repetitions, red herrings and residues. Nihilartikel – which follows the artist’s 2019 book for Perimeter EditionsFigures of slippage and oscillation – echoes the volatility and relationality of our experience of the ocean itself, posing the question of how we can work to unravel the dogmas of conventional modes of looking, making and reading photographs. Here, Pluta dares us to lose ourselves in the undertow.


Izabela Pluta – Nihilartikel

Izabela Pluta is a Polish-born Australian artist who interrogates the function of photographic images. Conceptually anchored in the effects of globalisation and her experience as a migrant to Australia, Pluta questions how things from one place fit into another and speak to experiences of place in a changing environmental and societal condition. 

Nicholas Croggon is art historian, editor, and critic. He is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Art History & Archaeology at Columbia University, a co-founder of the Melbourne-based contemporary art journal Discipline, and the Events & Programs Officer at The Power Institute based at the University of Sydney.