Limerick, Ireland
Barbara Knezevic, Highly Charged Object, 2012, brass, acrylic, ebonite rods, wool silk, leather, steel, 150 x 30 x 30 cm, courtesy the artist

Barbara Knezevic

b. 1977, Australia

Barbara Knezevic’s sculptural work is concerned with how objects function materially, semiotically and economically in the world. The work embodies her interest in the means by which the cultural meaning and value of objects is constructed and the peculiar human relationship to the things around us that is typified by the art-object. Knezevic assembles industrial, commercial and domestic materials into tentative, unstable and often temporary arrangements. These constructions are deliberately simple in their composition, but bear the trace of the agency of the artist; the act of editing and re-arranging of objects that moves them from familiarity towards the unknown.

Contingency Structure is an adaptable, transient construction, resembling a basic shelter. The materials variously reference other things; Irish linen, a traditional painting support, is reconfigured to form a canvas covering but its reference to art remains. Concrete blocks, broken and discarded detritus, are reused as fixing points. This work suggests the dubious, shifting nature of existence and the challenges of survival.

Highly Charged Object is a delicate hanging assemblage of materials selected from the triboelectric series for their positive and negative electrostatic qualities. When together, theoretically these materials gain and shed electrons to one another and into the surrounding air, producing an imperceptible charge. There is disjuncture between what is known about these materials and what can be observed and experienced. It requires that the viewer submit to the belief, without visible proof, that something is happening, a process is being covertly performed.

Barbara Knezevic lives and works in Dublin. Knezevic attended the Sydney College of the Arts where she received a Bachelor of Visual Arts and completed her Masters in Fine Art at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin.

(Text: EVA 2012, After the Future catalogue)


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