Growing up, we had a family joke about the fairly common experience of opening up a cupboard and finding mom’s overflow stash of things like Kleenex, beans or toothpaste that no longer fit in the kitchen or bathroom. We’d darkly refer to it as her Holocaust syndrome, implying that her need to stockpile, to be prepared, was inherited from her mother, a hidden child survivor.
The following body of work is situated at the intersection of coming across 10 cans of crushed tomatoes in the bathroom while looking for toilet paper and the impulse to hold close and care deeply for items and people that have been historically taken away. Using found objects and creating work that uses or depicts an accumulation of materials, I reflect on a particularly Jewish collecting impulse that inspires a culturally specific method of storytelling. Each work is informed by the organized chaos of collections and the aesthetics of tangential narratives, restlessness and layering in order to express my own relationship with various facets of cultural Judaism.
A Heavy Portal was supposed to be shown at a group show in Toronto in March, however that was postponed/cancelled because of the pandemic. I emailed some art spaces around Kitchener-Waterloo asking if I could come in during off hours to photograph a project and was understandably denied access. I decided to assemble the sculpture in my backyard to get my documentation, which ultimately turned out to be a blessing in disguise. The resulting images became a project in themselves, as the juxtaposition of vibrant fabrics and the dead March domestic landscape of my backyard came together to simultaneously depict a resourcefulness and playfulness that speaks to the intents of the original project.
Lauren Prousky is an artist, curator, writer, and arts administrator based in Kitchener-Waterloo. She received her MFA from the University of Waterloo and her BFA from Concordia University in studio art and English literature. Lauren’s current work involves doing a lot of Sudoku puzzles, trying to paint the concept of distance, and creating sculptures and fiber works that explore the aesthetics and linguistics of cultural Judaism. She has exhibited her work around Canada, occasionally elsewhere, and has done residencies in Iceland, British Columbia, and Brooklyn. Earlier this year Lauren completed a contract as the assistant curator of Gallery Stratford and once co-curated a poetry and performance event in a public pool.
To see more of Prousky’s work, visit her website.