Bronia Iwanczak
Past Artist In Residence
1999

Artist Bronia Iwanczak

Bronia Iwanczak is an interdisciplinary artist from Sydney, Australia working in photography,video and sculptural installation. The 18th Street residency enabled her to further research the ways in which identity is formed and physically embodied in relation to concepts of territory, land use and place making. As a result of her residency, Iwanczak created the exhibition ‘Exit/Salida’ as part of the Absolut- Los Angeles International Biennial (2001). Drawing from the visual strategies of folk art, home craft, religion, magic and existentialist psychology, she explored the intuitive and ritual spaces of ‘becoming’ in the construction of a personal versus public social identity within the master narratives of nationalism.

“In her work, Iwanczak asserts the importance of place, of roots, for psychic well-being. Her evocations of the non-places of Western globalisation, such as the airport lounge implied in the exhibition title and depicted in the digital photograph Astral Projection-Return of the Exile, underline this.The photograph evinces that transit zone between cultures, where one belongs to neither, where one is suspended, disembodied, without territory. So too does the piece entitled Tap: Hunting Power. Here, Iwanczak maps the psychic and political energy levels of the city of Los Angeles, as if harnassing that energy for the purposes of transformation. A map of L.A. is colonised by a cluster of bronze-cast roots and deers’ antlers coiled together with copper wire. At contact with the roots, certain locations on the map—chosen for their notoriety as places of gang conflict—have apparently began to smoulder, as if the copper coils are carrying the human equivalent of electric charge, the kind of energy generated by the frisson between diverse cultural practices and the oft-accompanying tension.”- Jacqueline Milner (Catalogue Essay- Exit/Salida)

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