Update from ISC Mana Resident Olga Alexander

At a time when categories or boundaries are being dissolved or at least blurred isn’t it peculiar that almost anyone outside of the arts still holds them dear! Me thinks it’s the work of engineers and coders obsessed with big data and algorithms, all wanting to analyze your next purchase, if not predetermine it, just kidding, barely 🙂 

Artists, art historians and curators on the other hand get it, the field is wide open. And open it is, the object is freed from the wall, any hierarchical pretense and monumentality so, the interdisciplinary reigns, so set your maker’s table / tablet / studio and set yourself free! But so much freedom is as daunting as it is exciting, at least at first.

When I moved my materials from a couple storage places in New Jersey and Manhattan to Mana, I was determined to make the most of it, the long commute be damned. I had few parameters in mind, other than to scale up some sculptural ideas that I had previously miniaturized in my jewelry designs and return to larger scale work. I began doing that, and as is typical of installation/mixed media artists, pieces multiplied fast, and this is a good thing, since I can’t work unless I have three things going at the same time, and it has to be three. I don’t know why, except when I do get three things going I get in a conversation with myself and the materials and things just flow from there.

Getting to this point, took some time at Mana; I have two day jobs so I relegated those jobs to the end of the week to free up a block of studio time for my art practice. As I was moving stuff in, I found I needed to move them out somewhere, anywhere so I can free up space, mental and physical. I don’t like enclosed spaces and having things scattered about wastes time, no worries I thought, I can compose in a studio, it’s an artificial environment of sorts, and, as in any dance performance, I started to compose my pieces in the space provided.

A rhythm ensued, I was repurposing, weaving, bundling, mending, painting, cooking, stiffening, spraying and constructing scaffolds and structures. I love modern dance, and my time in studio B-55 with the ISC, became “performative”. In my space, I composed with materials that interested me; materials that can be manipulated off the wall and on it or can allude to areas of study that interest me, such as neuroscience, architecture and fashion.

A body of work consisting of non-sequiturs, of sorts, resulted that I fully anticipate further iterations to be in the offing, iterations that involve current work to morph, even more, into pieces that use everyday, ubiquitous materials and elucidate the temporal, the illusive and the fragmentary nature of things. Thanks ISC for making it happen!

By Olga Alexander

Check out these links for more information:
www.nodescollection.com
www.artslant.com/global/artists/show/80386-olga-alexander

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