New York

Pawel Wojtasik

Alona Kagan Gallery

The statistics that inspired Pawel Wojtasik’s twenty-two-minute video, The Aquarium, 2006, according to gallery literature, are so predictably depressing that they might seem to barely warrant repeating: The normal life span of a beluga whale in the wild is between twenty-five and thirty years while in captivity it is a mere seven; Rincon Beach, in Santa Barbara, is frequently closed due to elevated levels of bacteria from sewage and “urban runoff”; 65 percent of the coral reefs in the Gulf of Mexico have been destroyed. But as climate change increasingly makes headlines, and scientists warn that we have entered the “Anthropocene” era, in which humans have a significant impact on the environment, such facts are more relevant than ever.

Filmed in Alaska’s Resurrection Bay, near Prince William Sound (where the Exxon Valdez dumped eleven million gallons of heavy crude oil in 1989), at the

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