Born in Warsaw in 1974, Peter Bogaczewicz is a Canadian photographer and architect based between Riyadh and Halifax. He studied at the Technical University of Nova Scotia, Dalhousie University and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, before embarking on a career in architecture and architectural photography, while developing an art practice. He uses his photography projects as a commentary on the relationship of the natural environment, the built environment and the human community.
Surface Tensions investigates the contemporary landscape of the Arabian Gulf, where the effects of human activity on the natural environment leave a particularly noticeable mark. The region’s visual purity highlights even the lightest intervention in the landscape as if it were a foreign body. Yet the interventions on this land are far from being light, the process of building ambitious infrastructure and projects, the act of putting down roots, is transforming the landscape at lightning speed.
This confluence of nature and culture is an ever-evolving dynamic that is turning progressively more complex while often becoming increasingly fraught with tension. And although humans are not alone in shaping their environment, we are uniquely placed in the animal kingdom in that what we shape ends up posing a mounting alternative to nature, transforming it into the man-made, or at the very least, man-altered, environment. It reveals a deep tension between what can be seen as progress - the aspirations of the human community and the environment.
Here the human element has a particularly noticeable presence, there is no effort at concealment that the land is there to be dominated, and progress is in itself a force of nature, rivaling nature itself.