Renascent exhibition by Ashley Czajkowski explores tensions between natural forces and influences of control in the corporeal existence
The premiere exhibition of The Artist Forward Fund award recipient opens February 1, 2018, for two nights only
Artlink Inc., in partnership with the Artlink Artist Council (AAC), announces the premiere art exhibition, Renascent, produced by the first grant recipient of The Artist Forward Fund (TAFF) Ashley Czajkowski. Renascent will be a two-night exhibition and will open with an artist reception at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1. 2018, at 1017 N. Central Ave., in the Roosevelt Row Arts District. The exhibition will be open to the public from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, and from 6 to 10 p.m. on First Friday, Feb. 2, 2018.
Czajkowski’s work in Renascent explores the tenuous boundaries of the nature/culture divide. For this installation, she filmed a series of intimate interactions with a discarded coyote, laying bare the traits of our corporeal existence.*
Renascent, by Ashley Czajkowski, 2018. Image provided by artist.
These interactions attempt an intimate relationship with nature, forging a bond from what has been lost. The work exposes how little control we actually have over these natural forces – time, change, aging, death – and endeavors to discover what we can choose to control – destruction, transformation, creation.
“The ways we enact upon the natural world are often synonymous with the ways in which we interact with our own animal bodies. Taming things on the surface, and ignoring the depths of internal issues,” said Czajkowski. “In this work, the coyote represents a version of ourselves; a beast within which must be nurtured, understood, deconstructed, and re-birthed.”
“The large number of strong TAFF submissions made any final decision by the panel a difficult one, and yet speaks to the volume of talented and committed artists are making work right here in Arizona,” said Christine Cassano, Artlink Artist Council member. “From her submission it was evident that Ashley had a keen interest in pushing through boundaries in her exploration of complex contemporary themes relating to various social constructions and psychological manifestations within the human-animal. As an interdisciplinary artist using film, projection and installation, Ashley felt an exhibit space would enable her to expand her approach to subject matter, methods and materials. This would be a large part of how the Artist Council and Artlink supported Ashley’s vision while working to highlight the importance of contemporary art in Phoenix. ”
*The coyote featured in the video was found and collected postmortem by the artist and has been respectfully preserved. No animals have been harmed for the purpose of this artwork. Due to the nature of the installation content, viewer discretion is advised.
About TAFF and the AAC
Formed in February of 2017, the AAC has identified key areas where the Council, which is comprised of professional artists, can provide support to emerging artists: mentoring, exhibition planning, sharing connections/networking support, portfolio review and practical advice on mounting exhibitions. For the inaugural TAFF call, the AAC sought an artist recipient demonstrating potential in their practice through risk-taking and pushing their work in dynamic ways, who is at a critical juncture in their career when this support would be most impactful.
About Ashley Czajkowski
Ashley Czajkowski is a photography-based artist working in a number of interdisciplinary methods. Driven by personal experience, her research explores social constructions related to femininity, mortality and the psychological manifestation of and the human-animal. Though she considers herself a photographer, Czajkowski also works in video, installation, and alternative print processes, pushing the expected boundaries of the photographic art medium. Czajkowski achieved her Bachelor’s of Fine Art in 2009 from Emporia State University in Kansas, and earned her Master’s of Fine Art in photography in 2015 from Arizona State University. Czajkowski’s work has been exhibited across the United States and internationally. Most recently, her work was shown at the Soho Photo Gallery in New York, The Millepiani Art Space in Rome and the CICA Museum in South Korea. She currently resides in Tempe, Arizona and was the recipient of the inaugural TAFF Award from Phoenix Artlink in 2017. Czajkowski teaches photography courses, works as the sound technician and story editor for the Creative Push Project, and is a member and former President of Eye Lounge Gallery and artist collective in downtown Phoenix. See more of her work at www.ashleyczajkowski.com.
About Artlink Inc.
Artlink keeps the arts integral to the development of our city by connecting artists, business and community. Artlink supports a variety of community-based art events and initiatives, including complimentary trolley tours during the monthly First Friday and Third Friday Art Walks, The Artist Forward Fund, Phoenix Urban Guide, and the annual Art Detour, Art d’Core Gala and Juried Exhibition. Formed as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 1989, Artlink is supported by City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, Downtown Phoenix Inc., Arizona Commission on the Arts, Phoenix Art Museum, Dunn Transportation, and works in partnership with Roosevelt Row CDC, Phoenix Warehouse District, Central Arts District and Historic Grand Avenue. Visit www.artlinkphx.org to sign up for the Artlink newsletter or connect socially on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.