Solastalgia is a relatively new concept for understanding the implications of ecosystem loss on our mental and emotional health.
Whether it is related to mourning for what is already lost or to eco-anxiety due to what could happen, Solastalgia reflects the zeitgeist of our time. It is a growing problem in societies and manifests itself in a feeling of dislocation and loss of the present characterized by the prospect of a fading world and a state of sensory deprivation. The absence of the senses, one of the greatest human fears, can lead to intra-mental perceptions, echolocation and memory flashbacks.
Starting from the personal experience that saw the photographer herself temporarily lose one of her senses, the work tries to visually translate this state of mind and warn us about the more subtle and dangerous effects of climate change. During the photographic process, Popławska is attracted from places linked to the notion of presumed stability and protection, such as socialist architecture, the space of a zoo, a home for the visually impaired or a centre for acrobats. Focusing on these places and the people who inhabit them, she then looked for those visual signs of disconnection, signs that could reflect the feeling of insecurity.
Being deeply concerned about the impact of solastalgia, Popławska finally wonders what would happen if we fainted, how this loss will affect our emotional health and memory in these times of mass extinction. "Fading Senses" therefore refers to the terror of elusive sensations, but she also wants to underline the growing disconnection of man from his natural habitat.
(Poland, 1994) Popławska is a photographer and art historian living in Antwerp, Belgium. Working at the intersection of art and science, she creates visual narratives analysing parallels between senses and memory, emotional states and conditions of the present. She explores fields like psychology, neuroscience, biology or ecology to find the basis for her speculative photographic storytelling and olfactory works. Graduated with MA in Photography from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp (2020) and BA in Art History from the University of Gdańsk (2016).