Monika Zarzeczna


Probably stemming from being an immigrant, having been in between cultures most of my life, what intrigues me is the ʻtrans-stateʼ of something. A misunderstood idea, a partly gone memory, an object with a lost purpose, they all exist in a state of ineffectiveness. They function in a way that is not initially intended and maybe even irksome but that also reveals a certain beauty. A new-ness.

I work in sculpture, installation, collage, painting and drawing, using materials most of which have had a previous life, either in my work or in their previous existence: woodshop cutoffs, aluminum, acrylic paint, paper and various strings, horsehair from old bows, discarded Plexiglas, pieces of furniture and (other) found objects. The disciplines get mixed up in my work as I am mostly interested in what various materials, objects, gestures and colors can express. I assemble shapes and objects, textures and materials to create something in between depiction and abstraction, something that may look familiar but that escapes complete recognition. All my work is based in personal experience and memory but I mix up the various associations that may flow from these elements and wait for a new meaning to form. I always wait for a piece to have its own voice.

The ideas come from seeing deteriorating spaces or broken objects out on the streets and by witnessing my neighborʼs repurposing of discarded items into sidewalk gardens or hacked motorcycles. These urban tableaus speak a language that reflects the economic and social heartbeat of a city and I try to latch on to this language and use it as a segment in my artwork. Major contributors to my work are also color and chance. I rely on gravity, tension and balance and combine them with color observations of shattered glass, graffiti, stray plant life and memories of nature walks.

Often my work is simply hung, leaning against the wall or precariously balanced on the floor, adding to the feeling of fragility and temporality, As though my work is holding its breath.

I want my work to be experienced mostly in a visceral way and so I show the manipulation of the materials, the human hand. I think it enables a form of intuitive, rather than rational understanding. I think it reminds us a little about what it is like to be.