|Artwork produced prior to residency.|
Residency: September-October 2005
Agata Olek Oleksiak was born in Poland, and currently lives and works in New York City. Her work has been exhibited at the 5BE Gallery in Manhattan, Chelsea Hotel, Transformer Gallery in Washington D.C, Metropolitan Pavilion (PROJECT 2004), 2004 Live Arts Festival in Philadelphia and 2004 Toronto Fringe Festival. She did an intervention on the vaporetto during 2005 Venice Biennale, and created a project for 9th International Istanbul Biennale. Her work was reviewed by The New York Times, Washington Post, Observer-Dispatch, W11 Utica, village voice, Backstage, CNN Turkey, Radical among others. Agata has designed sets and costumes for dance, theater, and film, and has taught costume design workshops for Materials for the Arts. She was the recipient of the 2004 Ruth Mellon Award for Sculpture.
The shapes of my work takes vary, as it is a bridge between the manufactured world of minimalism and the free flowing forms of anti-form. I have been interested in the relationship between the crocheted and the body, so much so that I have crocheted sperm, human skeletons, garments, cancer cells, bodies, self-encasements and entire interiors which the body enters. Much of the materials for my sculptural impulses are those, which are ephemeral, suggesting the limited life of the art object and the art concept.
Since my work is sculptural in form, I am often exploring the inherent opportunities offered through these traditional and non-traditional means to question the role of sculpture – installation and readymades. Although I look at the space or body, it is the space and the body which I intend to conform to my sculpture. Recently I have been developing crocheted camouflage pieces, which gave new meaning to an abandon house (Utica), benches of a commercial boat (Venice), a footbridge, a bunker from War World II (Poland) and the windows of the public boat (Kabatash Port – Istanbul).
My crocheted camouflage sculptures/installations refer to human behavior, which often masks the reality through the ever-changing lens of action. This artistic strategy is intended to make the way humans utilize their everyday movements visible. It’s also intended to make both the viewer and the performer conscious of their movements and interactions. In real time, the camouflage sculptures become a metaphor for how humans use and abuse their daily behaviors to construct a notion of reality and to create their perception of self. Perception in our contemporary society is reality. But like camouflage, perception shifts and has no anchor or stability… its visibility is constantly changing and moving.
– Agata Olek Oleksiak