Karolina Gnatowski

1970's psychedelic Americana
home invasions
The Doors
jacquard looms
Los Angeles sunsets


At first blush this list seems a bit disjunctive; soon the overtones begin to resonate. Music is often described as weaving; 'baselines moving in and around the melody' for example. In the works presented this fall at SideCar, Gnatowski has deftly pulled together not only this short list of intellectual threads but, quite literally the threads that make up this group of objects.

Karolina grew up in the Pocono mountains in the 1990's, a place she describes as being "frozen in the 1970's" because the local vacation/resort economy died. As a result, there was no money to keep up with overall cultural style changes locally. Complicating her surroundings further was the marketing onslaught of MTV's so-called Rockumentaries about 1970's rock bands and Oliver Stone's documentary film about The Doors, released in 1991.

Karolina has been working on a series of 27 objects based on the 1970's rock band, The Doors (or more accurately the mythologies surrounding The Doors and California). The series started out as a rumination on The Doors, Jim Morrison and inside jokes regarding the practice of weaving. She often employs word-play within her work. Fairly quickly the humor began to be pushed out as those mythologies surfaced, bringing in the California lifestyle, Jim Morrison's alcoholism and, as she says "the truth you think you know about something and someone and how that is disrupted as new information is unearthed". As the series has gone on, the darker side of these themes has bubbled ever closer to the surface. The pieces, often beginning as domestic objects, 'housewares', have begun to be transformed into memorials and monuments. -- Mike Kaysen


For more information about Karolina Gnatowski, please visit her website.