Currently, I’m working on a project that is a response to the climate crisis. With this work I attempt to engage others in a project of developing one’s sensitivity to the plant world in which we live and depend on. In my blog, plant chats, I invite people to contribute photos, texts, videos, etc. describing their experiences and close observations of one plant during 6 months. The blog becomes an active community through the postings of the participants to the blog and their comments in response to each other. My goal with this project is to better understand person-plant relationships, to learn about the various ways one develops plant awareness, and to see if such attention and caring will develop and extend the participants’ empathy with all plants.
In response to the Covid epidemic, with all the uncertainty, lockdowns and masks, I began drawing faces of people I saw in the news. While newspapers were filled with articles about corona, they also maintained a steady murmur of “other concerns” which served to contrast with or sometimes support the anxiety and later the boredom seen in most of the faces.
A project which invited the participation of the local community, done in collaboration with the photographer, Susanne Scherer. Through advertising and by word of mouth, and open to the entire community, people were invited to contribute an article of clothing and write a short text about why they were giving it up. Their contributions were hung together on a clothesline installed at the center of a formal garden, documenting the participation of 119 community members, aged 5–86: artists and other-than-artists hung together, side by side.
The figures here are anonymous, repetitive, restless groups cut out from various maps of the world. Under this clear dome, in this garden-like place, they are safe and protected - but also trapped.
Refugees (black and white) and imported fruits (in full, sensual color).
Up close but unnamed, these selfie-portraits of trees are presented as valuable objects (photographs) and displayed with precise information regarding the exact time and location of the photograph but without information regarding the tree itself.
A play on the word, seaworthy, these wooden frames installed along Zürichsee make space for nature to portray herself in combination with imaginary painted land/seascapes (culture). The viewer is able to adjust their view in order to see what they want to see in these framed “artworks”.
In collaboration with the architectural elements of this 13th century building -the low vaulted ceilings ending in thick columns and southfacing wall openings which allowed in sound and light, I was able to re-animate the space of the “cellarium” with the addition of filtered blue light and lengths (10 meters) of cloth, thin as spiderweb. The movement of the cloth and light created an ephemeral performance for visitors quietly walking through. The room was awakened for two days and then returned to its centuries-long stillness.
The famous painting "Gotthard Post" was projected, traced and cut into 28 fragments which were distributed across Switzerland and abroad. Each of these postcard size pieces was then returned, via the post, to 8800 Thalwil. Elements such as time and chance became important aspects of the project. Each card was modified by the necessary processing "marks" of the postal system by anonymous postal workers who contributed to the creation of the project. Surprisingly, no cards were lost and all individual parts were returned to recreate a 2011 version of the Gotthard Post.
Stay, remain, rest, linger, stop, stay, be patient, rest. We all do it. We did it in 2006 and we’re doing it now. What are you waiting for?
© Shaun Dziedzic 2022