Cultural Influences + Assemblage

 

Physical and cultural impermanence are themes that are central to my work. Drawing upon distant times, materials and literature, traces of original context are echoed within the pieces through an array of visual clues.  Family photographic images, historical postcards and resurrected detritus evoke vanished time, place, and domestic culture. These tenuously-assembled materials manifest an emotional tactility of the ephemerality of culture, the material world, nature, and reality itself. Themes of transformation, unease, and illusion within the written work of Robert Walser, Gogol, Kafka are emotional and aesthetic touch-points and refer to my Slavic family history of displacement and emigration.

Explorations that combine 2-dimensional and 3-dimensional elements explore concepts of artificiality, the degradation of the natural environment and the dissolution of the physical world by the use of blatantly erzatz and fake materials.

The collage assemblages are pieces tenuously held together with tape, clothespins, and cord, serving dual purposes in content and construction. They are made up of fragments of images and materials of humble origin: cardboard, crumbling book pages, tulle, mechanically reproduced photographs, found objects, spray paint, ephemera, and handwritten text.

A recent residency in New Mexico launched an interest in exploring landscape through charcoal drawing, assemblage, and home-made 

paint created through house paint medium, ash, dirt and graphite. I have also begun explorations in photo transfer of found, altered, and created images onto sheer textile panels, combined with other visual elements.

Review:

 

Evanusa-Rowland's use of collage and drawing presented as objects in their own right evidence a fascination with dimensions held in abeyance, creating a sense of movement toward decay arrested in mid-stride.  They appear to be in the process of becoming: identifiable as both history (ghost) and present (life).

The method or mode of presentation is intrinsic to the effect of the work.  The presentation projects a sense of at once becoming and dissolution within the same art work.  Materials are barely held together in a carefully constructed visual balance that insist on existing in real lived space while offering us a sense of the histories for making of the works and their past and present inspirations.  Time is felt as the passing of a precarious present.

One gets the uncomfortable sense of standing on unsteady ground and the art works’ construction present no secure hand hold to us.  In fact to approach it would be to collapse it. This fragility made permanent as collage presents us with a challenge of inter-dimensional readings. The works refuse to present completion as a goal or possibility, but instead inflict “passing” as the only possible experience of objects and self in time-space. Our identification of our own selves in front of this presentation becomes less secure and seeks retreat, but that retreat is the same dissolution of the present moment and the moment of the art work.  This is precisely analogous to moments in Kafka’s writing in which the characters become selves which they cannot recognize as such nor escape from without self-destruction. They become unmoored in time and sense only decay of the present, the past, and the future. Evanusa’s collages capture briefly that sense of creativity as an uncertain, unrecognized and non-stable event rooted in its insistence to exist, if only temporarily.

Materials are deceptively employed which utilize glimpsed moments from the past and the technology of the present.  Re-reproduced images and textures coupled with ink, cardboard, tulle, tape and fasteners belie the poverty of their means in their deployment across the works.  Brown walnut ink is of particular interest in its ability to summon forth dried blood streaks on cardboard, shadows and ageing. Brown tulle works unexpectedly as color wash and transparent shroud. All the materials emphasize their modesty, almost unworthiness as artifacts and presenters.

Brought together with Evanusa’s interest in the Brothers Quay animations and source stories from early 20th century writers; an evocation of passing temporality, the connecting of present and distant past; using materials both as physical and literary references in addition to media sources, hints at the arts underlying complexity and the artist’s sense of the importance of our own quivering present.

 

Reproduced images and textures coupled with ink and materials such as cardboard, tulle, tape, and fasteners, unworthy as artifacts and presenters, are employed to glimpse moments from the past and technology of the present.

Fascinated with dimensions held in abeyance, the forms create a sense of movement arrested in mid-stride. Materials are barely help together in a tenuous balance, refusing to present completion as a goal or possibility, inflicting “passing” as the only possibility of objects and self in time-space. The materials function as both physical and literary references, reflecting the Quay Brothers interest in temporality and decay and Kafka’s characters’ unmooring of time, self and location. The collages reflect creativity as an uncertain, unstable event rooted in its insistence to exist, if only temporarily, in a quivering present.

 

Kasper Onli

Independent Art Critic/Curator

July 10, 2014

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