relief print, ink, collage, hand-cut paper;
35 x 36 in.
“The thing we call a place is the intersection of many changing forces passing through, whirling around, mixing, dissolving, and exploding in a fixed location.” Rebecca Solnit The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness
My artwork examines actual and constructed memory, especially as it relates to my upbringing in Poland and immigration to the United States. My recollections of the places I occupied in Poland and my initial years in Chicago, the city I immigrated to, serve as the whirling, mixing, dissolving, and exploding forces Rebecca Solnit references in The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness.
Memory is liminal. Remembering is not an act of recalling the actual thing but our last memory of it. The more frequently something is remembered, the most abstract it becomes. My work converses with this process of abstraction, using images that reference my father’s elaborate gardens, my mother’s colorful textiles, the Slavic folktale of the Baba Jaga, and the majestic skyscrapers of Chicago. Images repeat, change direction, and dominance. All these actions mimic the actions of memory.
© Monika Meler