November 16, 2017 - January 13, 2018
Gutstein Gallery | Savannah, GA | 201 E. Broughton St.
SCAD presents "Small Works," an annual juried exhibition of work by SCAD students, alumni, faculty, and staff. Artwork measures 18 inches or less in all dimensions and includes photography, painting, printmaking, jewelry, fibers, sculpture, artist books, ceramics and illustration.
C.G. Jung's Personality Typology Vol. 6 inspired this collection of portraits. The figures are painted with and on top of memorabilia torn from a personal travel journal. All measuring at 5 x 10".
Solo Exhibition - Crowdfunded through Kickstarter
May 18, 2017 - May 19, 2017
WELMONT Venues | Savannah, GA | 1930 Montgomery St.
CHET is a post-conceptual video installation that presents the viewer an analogy for a person imbuing logic into a memory that does not exist. Specifically, CHET challenges the uncanny disjunction between the quasi-memory of my Grandpa and the actuality of this memory never existing. I only have a few memories of my Grandpa, and they all relate to the time of his death. However, the role model I remember is a potential memory I have from my family's collective stories. As I became consciously aware of this difference, I began to recognize I had no sense of place for my Grandpa. This exhibition became a place to identify my incapability of adapting a logical reason to the emotions I feel.
To materialize the conflicting identity of my Grandpa, the installation focuses on the use of allegories. Upon entering the exhibition, the viewer meets a broken violin lying in a case; this object can no longer make sound, but I place it in a position of importance similar to the memories we choose to construct ourselves with. The viewer also discovers a note placed underneath a magnifying glass that reads, "in loving memory of Chester Zielke," which invites the viewer to find a hidden meaning. As the viewer approaches the gallery opening, they hear Mitzi Okou, a Cellist, performing a musical composition along with Foster Lewis' string-based drone. Other than a spotlight on Mitzi, the room is darkly lit which takes time for a person's eyes to adjust. Slowly, the viewer can see sawdust elegantly placed within the installation. Sawdust is a symbol for process; it is being able to see the labor put into forming an object. The design radiates from Mitzi's position and appears to accumulate on the other side of a wall. As the viewer walks around the exhibition divide, they first hear the sound of a machine and find a projectionist performing the habitual task of re-looping a computer simulated video that has been converted into a 16mm film. The projection is composed within a picture frame hung on the wall with the largest amount of sawdust collecting at its base. The film shows my Grandpa, recreated in CG, in what appears to be an Eadweard Muybridge locomotion study. The figure looks directly at the camera, attempts to play a violin; he gazes back at the camera and the film cuts before him playing. This action repeats three times on the reel, the film spool is re-looped, and this process is repeated throughout the installation. The movement of the figure is edited to an uncomfortably slow pace which makes the abnormalities in the film - simulated exposures, camera adjustments, scratches, and dust - become the focus for the viewer. As the viewer watches the illusion of this anachronism displaying a violinist lacking the capacity to play, one can hear, but not see Mitzi's cello performance.
When we are incapable of realizing our emotions misguide our logic, we become a projectionist habitually re-looping an anachronism. We try to discover a logic that is irrelevant. CHET creates a place to identify the disconnect between my family's memory they have inscribed for me, and the logical reality of my Grandpa being my introduction to existentialism. Mitzi's performance is the only aspect of the installation that performs without a predictable measure. In contrast, the film, its affiliation with Muybridge studies, and the repetition of the projectionist indicates an act of study or an abstract time; a place that seems to be frozen in a repetitive psychological loop. To the viewer, the film potentially focuses on the abnormalities; the feeling I have while recognizing the inaccuracies of my own memory. In essence, the broken violin that greets the viewer, in some way, is an introduction to a memory that intertwines with my Grandpa's inability to play within this converted film. The viewer joins me, the projectionist, to watch and try to understand the uncomfortable memory of my Grandpa. As we watch, we see a man not being able to play, but hear the sound of strings through a wall; like a family's ability to keep a memory alive through generations.