Ruslana Lichtzier and Ryan Coffey discuss current HATCH Resident Jeff Prokash's on going project, "Objects for a Production in Eleven Acts," at The Seen Journal. Find an excerpt of the conversation below and read the full conversation at The Seen Journal.
"Jeff Prokash’s ongoing research project, Objects for a Production in Eleven Acts, examines the resonant nature of objects and spaces as they operate within a singular information system. With each new exhibition, the set objects—which range from FBI files obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, requests on German fiction writers, to boxes of unused confetti collected from a shuddered nightclub in rural Wisconsin—is re-edited and restaged. Placed in arrangements that echo sites such as public storage facilities and restricted government archives, the specific arrangements provide an inside view to the sites and systems that give projects their form.
Ruslana Lichtzier: How did your interest in systems evolve, when did it start?
Jeff Prokash: I used to be a painter, not that you would be able to tell from the work I’m making now, but there was a point where I was painting and slowly I sort of became enamored with the objects that I would paint. I was making paintings where there would be an object centrally located in the middle of the canvas and the rest would be a colored field that was activating the object. It occurred to me then that maybe I should switch to working sculpturally instead while continuing the dialogue that is attached to different objects. I think it started then and has gone in various different directions since.
Ryan Coffey: Is that something that evolved in graduate school?
JP: This was actually in the space between graduate school and undergraduate. That I noticed the shift in my practice. From then on it became more of an investigation of how objects operate in the world while delving into the fictions and the sets of agreements that are attached to the spaces, the objects and the materials I am investigating. I began to challenge those relationships, opening them up and activating different conversations that are attached to them."
Photo: Door, 2017, courtesy Phil Peters