Zakarij Kaczmarek and Petra O’Halloran are visual artists based in Sydney, Australia. They use photography as a way of understanding the world. These photographs show life today – as the artists have deciphered it. Rather than a window into the everyday the artists are able to create a new world bound by the photographic frame.
Zakarij is interested in how the cyclical nature of our capital economy is portrayed within our everyday environment as signs of urban decay are juxtaposed with economic prosperity and expansion. As our bodies move through the streets our minds wander elsewhere. By looking through the lens as a Situationist Reporter, his images form a series of collected and fragmented incidences that explore alienation within a world with a defined ideology of materiality, consumption and exploitation.
In 2010 Petra documented various urban landscapes in America. The photographs attempt to capture places/spaces in and around American urban centres before they fall completely to the “ceaseless replacement of the new.” (Sontag, 1979) It is the timelessness within the medium of photography that has allowed her work to have an exotic quality.
Shamelessly stealing Sontag’s “Surrealist Ragpicker” character, Petra’s work finds beautiful what other people find ugly, interest in the uninteresting and relevance in the irrelevant. The arbitrary objects and ordinary scenes are transformed on the photographic plane, into worlds of their own. Petra’s images cinematic in character are not empty but suspended in time. The photographs themselves become an index of a constantly changing physical world.