Offramp Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition Bianca Kolonusz-Partee: Countries of Origin from January 8 - February 12, 2012. There will be an opening reception for the artist on Sunday, January 8, from 2-5pm and a closing reception on Sunday, February 12, from 2-5pm.
Bianca Kolonusz-Partee's constructs intricate landscapes of Asian container shipping ports, using recycled product packaging from the sites themselves. Delicately cut, folded, and pinned to the walls with multi-colored map pins, Kolonusz-Partee's constructions become panoramic pastiches of buildings, roadways, cranes and ships. By exploring these industrial landscapes Kolonusz-Partee hopes to better understand where all the "stuff" demanded by the west is really coming from. The environmental and human sacrifices being made in the East’s efforts to rapidly develop are harshly criticized, but demand for their products continues to come from the west.
Bianca Kolonusz-Partee earned her BFA in studio art from Mount Holyoke College and her MFA from Claremont Graduate University. She lives and works in Guerneville, CA.
I explore industrial landscapes that exist within the more complex natural world. A global freeway container shipping provides a keen barometer of where we are right now. The environmental impact of shipping such large quantities of goods through mega ports is huge. And yet creating my work from recycled product packaging that friends and family mail to me I have come to realize how attached I am to the highly designed packaged world that surrounds us. By bringing simulations of the often-tucked away and ignored industrial shipping ports to viewers I hope they will have their own experience of the contemporary world.
I focus on industrial landscapes because I care so much about the natural landscape and feel that our connection to it is crucial as human beings. I worry that the further we get into our technological thingies the more detached we become from the natural landscape and the less we care what happens to it and ourselves. Working in large shipping ports I have discovered something unexpected– birds, water and land reclaim the manufactured landscape. The over-powering strength of the natural landscape is not what I expected to find. In our highly designed culture even the “green” movement begins to feel programmed. Though I question our obsession with technology I myself make digital videos of container shipping ports which I later work from in my studio to piece together the landscape. This technology has allowed me to understand more fully the natural landscape that these industrial centers sit within as the subtle movement of the water, sky and trees reveal themselves in my videos.
After exploring the massive American shipping ports including: Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco I am planning a trip to visit and research the ports of Asia. Visiting Asia, key producer and shipper of products to the rest of the world, will help me to delve deeper into the complex issues involved in global commerce. The environmental and human sacrifices being made in the East’s efforts to rapidly develop are harshly criticized, but demand for their products comes from this side of the world. As I research the Asian Shipping Ports I grapple with trying to see the full picture of something without being in the place. Relying on the Internet and You Tube videos rather than my own physical experience and digital recordings makes me aware of how we understand most things outside of the place we live through a barrage of media and information. Relying on the recordings of others to piece together these places is both humbling and voyeuristic. I look forward to my assumptions being replaced by the complexities that exist in a place that is developing faster than anything we have ever seen before.
Bianca Kolonusz-Partee, Hong Kong 1, 2011, 18" x 37", recycled packaging, colored pencils, adhesives and map tacks.
Bianca Kolonusz-Partee, Yokahama Bay, Japan, 2011, 6" 26" recycled packaging, colored pencils, adhesives and map tacks