- This event has passed.
10,000 Years, an exhibition by Andrew Kozlowski, in the Heather Moore Community Gallery
October 25, 2018 - January 16, 2019
From the artist:
I find the provenance of the objects we hold in our hands a fascinating reminder that history has always been constructed from what has survived, through careful planning, accidental circumstance, or willful evolution. Through my works I carve a wide path of concerns, calling to question those objects that ultimately define our cultures and our histories. The items depicted are stand-ins for daily activities, relics from travels, debris found underfoot, and representations of news stories which briefly populated my social media news feeds. They are reminders the past is equal parts remembered and forgotten, and that monuments and museums are perhaps better viewed as representations of their makers than as static moments of history.
My works, as much as they reflect a complacent embrace of planned obsolescence, focus on a playful narrative of how objects define our culture and our time. I am curious about how our histories are shaped by objects we possess, share, discard, collect, and hold dear. Though the works in this exhibition reflect a range of media, they are united with a cast of characters, a mix of objects from high and low culture filtered through an anxious sense of humor. Ranging from beer cans and building debris, to ancient urns and human remains, these characters help tell stories that span the intimate moments of individuals to the grand disasters shared by everyone.
Typically, disasters have provided writers and artists with a situation that allows for the exploration of human character: what are each of us responsible for, what would we sacrifice for someone else, what do we believe in? In my work, I often go between narratives of groups and individuals. The first, seen in larger installations and the “Future Blueprints” series, tells the story of post-apocalyptic survivors who build and rebuild monuments from the debris that has become part of their landscape. The second, found in the ongoing series “Unfinished Sculptures,” the series of small ceramic works, and the narrative story set in vinyl that begins the exhibition, provide smaller more personal moments focused on escape, meditation, and loss. Both stories connect through the ways we rely on objects to understand and tell our collective histories. The survivors utilize the remains of the past to create new monuments and memorials that suggest both “we were here” and “we did this to ourselves,” while the collection of ceramic objects for eating and drinking offer an understanding that “things happen, but I’m still here.” Both stories play on the suspect provenance of otherwise fixed objects to highlight the slippery nature of recording, presenting, and recalling history.
The title “10,000 Years” comes from an episode of the podcast “99% Invisible” which details the work of a group of scientists, artists, architects and thinkers as they attempt to design a warning system for a nuclear waste facility buried in the New Mexico desert. 10,000 years is double the length of written human history, it seems like an impossible amount of time to an individual, but also no time at all in the long line of history. I use it here as a reminder that while our experience may remain brief, our impact may be far-reaching. I’ve found the stories and characters in my work shifting in time, from moments that might have taken place in my childhood to events happening well after some future disaster. I like the idea that somehow in this exhibition, ideas, responses, and stories could be separated by thousands of years, but be brought together to explore the connective tissue between generations.