Graduate Alumni > Advanced Fiber Studio (Highlights)

Alexander Zak (Spring 2012)
Alexander Zak (Spring 2012)
"Africanized Bees (Invasive Species, 2)"
O+ Blood

My work navigates identity politics and social anxieties through meditative making. Repetition, exhaustion, endurance, and image association figure heavily within my practice. This all stems from an interest in achieving catharsis with each work. Both personal experiences and problematic social histories influence my concerns, which is why developing and practicing cathartic rituals is a way for me to breach larger social issues. Through extensive research and analysis of contemporary discourse surrounding gender, sexuality, and identity formation, I am participating in a conversation with feminist and queer thinkers and writers. Some of these thinkers include Judith Butler who explores issues of gender and performativity, and Eve Sedgwick who has recognized that shame plays an important role in identity construction.

Using performance, writing, critical analysis, sculpture, and drawing, I excavate my materials for intersection of meaning with the aforementioned ideas. Some of these materials include but are not limited to my body, paper, blood, foam, and new media. Many of my works are also site specific as environment and shared space are key components to addressing these issues in social spaces.

Recent work has developed through traditional modes of visual conveyance, such as illustration or model building. These methods are spaces that become subverted within my practice, as I use metaphor to mine meaning in display and materials. These works include dioramas and miniatures made of copy paper, or drawings of invasive species with my blood. I am interested in using these modes of conveyance because larger concerns I have specifically deal with the politics of expression.