REED COLLEGE SELECTED PORTFOLIO

KEITH KAZIAK CREATIVE STATEMENT

  

                                                                             'We begin to confront the thingness of objects when they stop working for us.’ 

                                                                                                                                                           -Bill Brown, Thing Theory

 

My creative research explores ephemera and vernacular of the human condition. I am driven by a curiosity grounded in the form and content of everyday and visually mundane objects often dismissed as ignorable social debris and sense they embody defining cultural symbolism. These explorations incorporate sculpture as the vehicle and point of departure to discover the thingness and unknowns of objects and material conditions of our lives. At the core of my contemplations is the passiveness of objects that surround us and a motivation to understand, for example, the cultural distinction between an unearthed archeological ‘dump-site’ of ancient artifacts and those discarded things of our mass consumer culture, and why we place meaningful significance on one and not the other.

 

Props and decoys are not the objects they mimic, rather the ‘things’ they have become, as their function has been seized by the precarity of their materials. My use of painted and wrapped rigid foam, polychromed cast-metal, and quotidian reconfigurations further allude to the notion of these ‘emptied’ objects-turned-things that challenge our awareness. Moreover, these objects and their arrangements recall Vanitas paintings, which remind us of the transience of life, the emptiness of excess and pleasure, and our mortality.  

 

Alchemy and humble gestures of humor act as thresholds into each work and philosophical notion that explores simple and modest objects that we think we know. Augmentations, slight shifts, and reinterpretation of materials and objects create moments where the mundane becomes magical, as each uncanny instance reshapes our perception and approach to these works through a new lens. The playful and vernacular qualities of my work are contemporary in aesthetics, execution, and context, yet provide the everyday viewer interpretive freedom according to their individual position and impulse.

 

I desire to transmute the commonplace through actions that replace inattention with contemplation and make more visible the life forces in objects and materials that influence and impose on our everyday life. In doing so, my works recall social phenomena that constrain the mind and body, and while making these relationships more perceptible, their fallibility is also revealed as something to be sunk.

KEITH KAZIAK CREATIVE RESEARCH