“Every time a story is retold it takes on a new life…” - KCJ Szwedzinski
Storytelling is the root of history. It's how we transmit the lessons of the past, either in oral or written narrative, and therefore how we learn about ourselves. And, of course, the first “written” stories were visual: pictographs on cave walls that carried the burden of documenting entire communities through cycles.
KCJ Szwedzinski’s work concerns itself with unorthodox realizations of narrative. Much of it uses textual elements functioning more as graphic motifs as explicit linguistic communication. In fact, it is often unreadable; transparent pages layered together to obscure all meaning, as in “hidden Histories II”, or positioned at the ends of an hourglass as in ”A Measure of Time”. And if the cut out, cursive text in “An Absence That Suggests A Significant Presence” is technically legible, our desire to read it is distracted by the play of light and shadow that the artist calls into existence with the folded-page format. Even more startling is how we are forced to ponder the question of why the enigmatic “Hidden Histories I” sculpture mysteriously places four dinner settings on the underside of the table.
“Narration, ritual, and object are each mechanisms for the transmission of memory,” Szwedzinski tells us. “As time passes, these stories and carriers of meaning become shadowed with the recollections of others and become imbued with added social, familial, political, and moral values not originally present. Every time a story is retold it takes on a new life, simultaneously preventing that information from being lost to history while slowly transforming into something new altogether. These mechanisms for transmission slowly shape collective memory across time and ultimately have a huge hand in shaping personal identity. My work reflects on the shifting nature of narrative across time and considers the intersection of art, ethics, and atrocity.”
Szwedzinski has work in a show at OPEN Community Art Center, with a closing reception on January 26 from 6-9 pm. She also has have work in an exhibition at the Dairy Barn Arts Center in Athens Ohio, OH + 5 '18: Ohio Border Biennial, which runs through March 17th. She was recently included in The Flow Magazine's Winter 2017 edition of the 13th annual Gallery of Women in Glass.
Szwedzinki exhibited frequently during 2017:
- Descent: A Collaborative Book Project, University of Louisville, KY
- Artists in Our Midst, Kaviar Forge Gallery, Louisville, KY (Juried)
- Glass Show, Gallery 104, La Grange, KY (Juried)
- Relative Perspective, Gallery K, Louisville, KY (Two person exhibition)
- Terminus: Portfolio Exchange, SGCI Archives, Zuckerman Museum of Art, Kennesaw, GA (Juried)
- Student Exhibition, Schneider Galleries, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY (Juried)
- Apocalypse: A Collaborative Book Project, University of Louisville, KY
Hometown: Jacksonville Florida
Education: MFA candidate. University of Louisville, Louisville, KY (expected May 2019):
BA cum laude, Art History and Printmaking, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL, 2009
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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved