AGAINST THE WALL

a sculpture suite: by keith kaziak

Backspace Gallery

March 5-12, 2021

Madison, WI

 

Over the past twelve months I experienced the slippage of society. Though leading me closer to my spaces, it also created division and distance. Manifested through closeness and separation, it annunciated a deep sense of vulnerability and loss. Against the Wall contemplates these shortcomings through the scarcity, excess, and ubiquity of material, as well as the abandonment, isolation, and fragility of my past and places.

 

Engaged with vernacular materials and spatial interventions, I approach past and place as artist and individual. As the ghostly bearer of my studio’s lost and erased past, the walls became the subject upon which I could imprint and conceal memories and experiences. The quiet and empty resonance seeped into my studio, expanding and contracting with me, as I did with it, and through my process of laboring and mending I created simple gestures and liberating interventions. The peeling veneer had slipped to reveal its interior, leading me towards the exhibition space.

 

This venerated space is at its most vulnerable as the connective tissue that binds the art community. As the empty walls weep, its vacancy and volume hold a new unpredictability. I recognized this as I too was vulnerable while the capricious nature of the pandemic teased out anxieties over health, family (nucleus), and fading nostalgic memories. The nucleus of our eco-system, the gallery acted as the lure for me to navigate connections between contemporary art and everyday life. Through intimate investigations of its surfaces and textures, I created this sculpture suite.

 

Sculptural forms render this site within a historical context. A towering column of boxes echoes Brancusi’s consideration of a sculpture’s base, marking a significant shift within the art canon by transforming an object’s relationship to the space it occupies. This column precariously bears this hollow site, marking my shift; one of refined reductive aesthetics, immersive space, and introspective thinking.

 

Against the Wall represents me responding to me. Reflections of me in my immediate environments. Isolated, they fade, creep, ascend, and reveal narrations of a past, a present, and anticipation for a future. As material and emotional tools, nostalgia, history, and humor engender a response of this highly charged and fleeting space. This suite relates past and place to emotional, social, and introspective moments, and reconciling through thoughtful placement, the relationship between sculpture and site.

 

-Keith Kaziak, March 2021