Karolina Karlic ’05
Native of Poland, child of Detroit, Karolina Karlic remains curious about cars, immigration, and dashed dreams.
Now she has a Guggenheim Fellowship to help fuel that curiosity.
Her engineer parents left Poland shortly after her birth, hoping for work in America’s auto industry. Her own move to Los Angeles after graduation, where she earned an MFA at California Institute of the Arts, brought Karlic closer to other immigrants. Personal migrations, industrial outsourcing, economic decline, and re-defined hopes are her central subjects. She’s taken pictures of muscle cars, multiracial groups, empty factories, and Polish landscapes.
Named a Guggenheim Creative Arts Fellow in 2011, Karlic visited the Amazon jungle and the site of Henry Ford’s massive and disastrous experiment in industrial outsourcing: Fordlandia, an American-style town within a rubber plantation. She believes that fine-art photographs can also “deliver the news,” by posing picture-based questions, about how past errors might match modern dilemmas.