Andrea Kastner: CONSPICUOUS COLLAPSE
May 29 – June 29, 2014
Opening Reception: June 12, 7:00 – 9:30pm
Art Crawl: June 13, 7:00 – 11:00pm
“The architect or the artist, co-creates with the remainders of history, collaborates with modern ruins, re-defines their functions—both utilitarian and poetic. The resulting eclectic transitional architecture promotes a spatial and temporal extension into the past and the future, into different existential topographies of cultural forms.”
Svetlana Boym, Ruinophilia: An Appreciation of Ruins
2012 RBC Painting Competition nominee, Andrea Kastner, creates refined, collage-like, large-scale painting compositions of urban detritus and waste that can be interpreted as contemporary landscapes of urban ruinophilia. The works become a spatial exploration of the “stuff” we accumulate in a (post) industrial environment, calling to mind Veblen’s sociological observations on ‘conspicuous consumption’ beginning with post-war North America. Following this line of thought, and by connecting Bourdieu’s critical observations on the aesthetic thing-ness of taste in his essay, Distinction, the viewer can also equate Kastner’s thematic representations as portraits of absent subjects; reflections on the psyche. Evoking a reading of the things we collect as a reflection on the self, the objects depicted create an archival document of our most intimate characteristics. These representations create a telling depiction of our secret selves, rather than the carefully selected objects we display as façade-like projections within our homes, on our bodies, and to our neighbours.
Kastner’s solo exhibition at the Hamilton Artists Inc., Conspicuous Collapse contains a collection of new work from the ongoing series The Waste Land, where Kastner has archived and collaged images ranging from alleyways, constructions sites, landfills, personal refuse and everything in-between. The exhibition marks an extension of Kastner’s previous practice, in part, through a nuanced, conceptual turn in her titles as well as an expansion of her subject matter, combining readings of projections of the self with a collective social lens, underscoring the environmental consequences of our desire to consume objects.
Andrea Kastner is a Kamloops-based painter who makes work about the sacred nature of rejected things. Raised in Montreal, she completed her BFA at Mount Allison University and her MFA at the University of Alberta. Her work been exhibited across Canada and she was selected as a finalist in the 2012 RBC Canadian Painting Competition.
Image: Andrea Kastner, The One That Got Away, 2013. Oil on canvas. Photo: Colin Lyons