September 10 - October 23, 2010
Kelly Kaczynski: The Stagehand’s Unseen (main space)
Kirsten Leenaars: The Impossible Voyage (Larry and Jacob Kart) (project room)
September 10th, 2010, 6pm
Special preview party and screening:
September 9th, 2010 7-10pm
Live music by Bill MacKay and Conrad Freiburg
Artist Talk with Kelly Kaczynski:
September 30th, 2010, 6pm
On View until October 23rd, 2010.
CHICAGO: threewalls presents Kelly Kaczynski’s The Stagehand’s Unseen, an installment of her ongoing project, the conceptual play, Olympus Manger and Kirsten Leenaar’s The Impossible Voyage (Larry and Jacob Kart) (in the project room).
Kaczynski’s The Stagehand’s Unseen presents a synopsis of a play in its objects and documents. situated between a collection and a tableaux with the potential to historicize the play’s origins. Handled as props in stasis, the objects of Olympus Manger are simultaneously sculpture and artifact – leaving the role of ‘artist’ latent: progenitor or activator, either/and.
Producing objects and peripheral activities (photographs, video, drawing), alongside her large scale installations, Kaczynski creates sculptural work that both carries embedded meaning and relationship to its origins while making available the transfer and reinterpretation of this meaning through the implication of an audience in handling and deploying those works. Olympus Manger uses the device of theater as its platform to examine landscape (image and function), built environment and psycho-social relationships by requiring an audience to choose between the role of ‘audience’ or ‘actor’ according to the placement of their body in relationship to the stage and their participation in the completion of the narrative. For the scenes from Olympus Manger, the audience was invited to move between audience and actor in ‘producing’ the work of art that was the play.
In The Stagehand’s Unseen, the objects take the place of the actors, laying out the materials of the play as landscape. Handling these objects as such also proposes narrative as topography, open to the wanderings of the individual. Positioned on a stage built to the perimeter of threewalls’ main gallery, the landscape of objects create desire through their stasis and limited accessibility, as the props remain just on the verge of being re-deployed yet on pause.
Driven by an endless fascination for people, Kirsten Leenaars is a collector of personal stories. Fascinated by the idea of the self as something constructed out of the narratives we create about our lives, Leenaars sees the self as a perpetually rewritten story whereby we become the narrative we tell about ourselves. Using those stories she encounters by friends and acquaintances, Leenaars rewrites them into imaginary micro-dramas about intimate relationships and subjective space.
By creating her own, new narrative structures from borrowed material, Leenaars aims to question the viewer’s own ‘self making’ narrative. In this way, Leenaars creates ‘platforms’ for other people to perform themselves. With imagination giving shape to the way we relate to each other and the way we relate to the world we live in, Leenaars strips down her narratives to the most bare of stages and scenes, creating an emotional set familiar enough to an audience to allow for their entry and potential absorption.
The Impossible Voyage (Larry and Jacob Kart) was filmed in Ohio during the thematic “Survival” session hosted at Harold Arts in conjunction with threewalls. With issues of community, family and genealogy rising to the fore over the course of the 11 day residency, Leenaars honed in a relationship between father and son.
Leenaars will say her work finds its origin in her love for people. This is not ‘love’ in the merely personal sense, but rather love as a state of being. This love takes the form of a state of awareness of private fears and longings in a world full of projections - the projection of ideals and fears we guard, keep and identify with. This love is a way of looking: about being aware of the filters we look through when we look at others.
Kirsten Leenaars was born and educated in the Netherlands where she received her BFA in Sculpture and her MA degree with a focus on socially engaged art. She received her MFA degree in Studio Arts from UIC (Chicago) in 2007. In 2004 and 2007 she received a ‘Start Stipendium’, a stipend for ‘promising’ Dutch artists by Fonds BKVB, foundation for the visual arts. Her work is shown at film and video festivals nationally and internationally, in gallery context and has been part of community-based projects. She showed among others with Slow, Chicago; Gallery Stephan Stucki, Zurich; Poetry International Festival, Rotterdam: HotelMariaKapel, Hoorn; Traveling Tehran Biennale, Istanbul; Contemporary Art Workshop, Chicago; LOOP Festival, Barcelona; Gallery 400, Chicago. She has collaborated the past year with Dan Peterman and is currently involved with DePaul University College of Law (Chicago) to produce a work for the Iraq History Project. In addition to her art practice Leenaars is the co-executive director of GeoAIR, a residency program in Tbilisi, Georgia. She currently teaches at Contemporary Practices at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.
Kelly Kaczynski is a sculptor and installation artist. She received an MFA from Bard College, NY and BA from The Evergreen State College, WA. She has exhibited with Hyde Park Art Center, IL, Rowland Contemporary, IL, University at Buffalo Art Gallery, NY, Triple Candie, NY, Islip Art Museum, NY, Cristinerose / Josee Bienvenu Gallery, NY, DeCordova Museum, MA, Boston Center for the Arts, MA. Public installations include projects with the Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA, the Interfaith Center, NY, Institute for Contemporary Art, Boston and the Boston National Historic Parks, MA, Boston Public Library, MA. Kaczynski currently teaches as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University, IL. Scene from ‘Olympus Manager’ was exhibited at the University of Buffalo Art Gallery, NY in 2006 and ‘Olympus Manger’ Scene II at Hyde Park Art Center, IL, 2008.
Time Out preview of Kelly Kaczynski: The Stagehand's Unseen
New City review of Kelly Kaczynski: The Stagehand's Unseen