Closing: POINT 5 - Works by Kelly Kozma

  • Paradigm Gallery 746 South 4th Street Philadelphia, PA, 19147 United States
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ARTIST STATEMENT | Consider each piece as a cross section from life. Like a droplet of blood, these works are sandwiched between two slides, preserving memories, experiences and ephemera, which may otherwise be forgotten. 

Similarly to one’s memories, these works begin with a collection of information. In a few cases, the materials utilized were brand new to this world. Their first and last purpose was to be a part of this piece. In other cases, they were gathered over time. “CMYK” for example, took months of cutting up boxes to amass enough color test-strips, to create the work. “Confetti 2.0” is made up of leftover (you guessed it) confetti, from an installation of a previous exhibition. And then there’s “Philly, Then” which is compiled of photographs taken almost 15 years ago. Regardless of how long the materials took to collect or put to use, the outcome is a frozen period of time on which one can reflect.

The collection process is followed by deconstruction. Over time, the memories one accumulates break down in the mind. What was once clear as day becomes fuzzy and pieces go missing. “What year was that? Who was there? Was that before or after we met?” One may cling to the bigger more important chunks, or remember the slightest detail of an event. Either way, information fades and the experience changes more and more with the passing of time. I mimic this process by punching my materials into half-inch circles, which get mixed up randomly, like memories swimming in a sea of thoughts. 

Lastly, these materials are sewn together, hence preserving them before being able to breakdown to an undecipherable state. I use the technique of hand stitching to physically mark the passing of time. The needle goes through the next hole and the clock ticks one more notch. The thread gets pulled tight and that second has secured itself in history. It cannot be erased or forgotten. 

Aside from the conceptuality of memories, I was also driven by the aesthetics achieved through the reorganization of information. A beer box becomes a menagerie of bold, shimmering sequins in “California Style” and a coloring book transforms into a sophisticated abstract design in “F**cked”. I also considered how the piece changes, as it is viewed from different distances. From far away, colors group together and create a pixelated, Tetris-like effect. As one approaches the piece however, it breaks down into individual images . . . a barcode, the word pizza, a smiley face, etc. Again this relates to the human experience and how we group similar time periods and events together, but upon closer examination we are able to remember the most specific and intricate of details.

Although this collection of memories began as my own, they will be transferred onto each individual viewer, who, in turn, will create their own associations, all to be preserved in time.