Emerging Artist Residency: The Tourist / Stained
Žana Kozomora / Olga Klosowski Schellenberg
The Tourist / Stained, a result of Centre’s Emerging Artist Residency program, exhibits works in print, video, and installation. Žana Kozomora and Olga Klosowski Schellenberg’s practices explore notions of home, nationhood, and nostalgia through found objects and re-appropriated media forms.
Žana Kozomora’s piece, The Tourist, is a video and print installation that situates the artist’s exploration of displacement from her hometown as a collaborative travelogue. The artist follows the path of a tourist, overlaying her voice onto the camera’s roaming eye. Using video and information culled from digital archives, a parallel journey home is envisioned. Accompanied by the tourist’s performative and nationalist gestures, the tourist walks the artist’s hometown of Ilidža in Bosnia, filming post-war landmarks, ruined and renovated architecture, and her exiled family home. By using content collected from tourist and government websites, including NATO archives, the artist narrates this journey to investigate the masking and unmasking of colonial and conflict histories embedded into her childhood suburb.
Accompanied by a series of silkscreen prints entitled Flood Stone with Smoke I-X, (43°49’41.2″N 18°18’22.1″E), Kozomora utilizes the process of screen printing to create a series of fragmented icons, manipulated from digital photographs, depicting the wall of her derelict childhood home. The layered flooding of ink and colour through exposed holes in a screen seep charred marks on the stonewalls. Positioning herself as a secondary tourist to her own place of birth, the artist seeks to revisit methods of constructing memory and identity in light of globalized digital information sharing.
Olga Klosowski Schellenberg’s piece, Stained, examines objects from everyday spaces and how they relate to us more than we may acknowledge. Objects collect memories and traces from our past that may be easily overlooked. It may not be an integral part of a person’s history, but it is composed of moments that make up a lifetime. Transforming these objects into aesthetic artworks alters their original function, however the history remains. The object is no longer just an object; it is a memorial of the past.
Olga Klosowski Schellenberg work is a combination of pieces that transform the perception of unwanted objects. Living in a continuous construction zone has forced the artist to spend time within someone else’s life while creating a new space of their own. Every home and space falls into the trap of holding onto something that is no longer necessary. As time evolves, tastes change along with our needs. But for some reason there is always that pile of junk in the basement that continues to collect dust hoping to be used once again.
The materials and subject matter vary, from furniture to structural elements of the home. While many of the objects are not a part of the immediate past, there is an urge for the artist to collect and preserve items that are in the process of decay. All the works are transformed through material and composition creating a monument from a pile of junk. Common materials are the found objects themselves, concrete and metal along with processes of destruction such as dust and ash. To me they become subtle, yet beautiful elements in the space quietly drawing attention as they stand in their own right, speaking for themselves.
Schellenberg’s prints are similar in aesthetic nature as the sculptural work, however they are represented as obvious artworks. They are displayed in typical manner on the wall with questioning imagery. Investigations into stains and traces of the human presence have been a common subject matter. The images layered overtop one another either in digital form or analogue with a variety of transparent papers.
Both artists use alternative methods and media to tell stories that reimagine identity and memory in the context of geographic location. Žana Kozomora mobilizes the perspective of “the exile” through the reclamation of found footage, while Olga Klosowski Schellenberg examines found objects vanished to sites of demolition repurposing them into monuments symbolic of home.
Žana Kozomora is an interdisciplinary artist born in Bosnia and based in Kitchener, Ontario. She graduated from the University of Waterloo B.A. Fine Arts program in 2015 with a specialization in Professional Practice. She has participated in the Mentored Independent Studio residency at the Dundas Valley School of Art and is currently participating in the Emerging Artist Residency at Centre for Print and Media Arts in Hamilton, Ontario. Her work has recently been exhibited with Xpace Cultural Centre, Factory Media Centre, and the Cambridge Centre for the Arts.
Olga Klosowski Schellenberg is a Barrie, Ontario, born artist with a graduate from the University of Toronto, Mississauga and Sheridan College. She specializes in drawing, printmaking and sculpture. She attended a thematic residency at Artscape Gibraltar Point on Centre Island and a recipient of the Artist Fellowship in Woodworking at the Living Arts Centre. She exhibited her sculptural work at the Art Gallery of Mississauga’s XIT-RM, and just finished a residency at Centre .