Andrea Stanislav

Artist's Statement

My work is anchored in a collision of aesthetic beauty and horror -- dualities that intimate sublimity. I make referential sculpture abstractions and multi-media installations that question the dystopic/utopic and the fictional/factual co-existence of natural and cultural worlds. By challenging themes of harmony, destruction and transformation, I make unexpected visual manifestations and monumental sculptures. The thrust of my work is realized on a monumental scale that also speaks to the American empire and American exceptionalism. From an explosion of mirrored obelisks on the Bonneville Land Speedway to a video land art intervention -- a migration that took place along ten miles of the Mississippi river, the work has taken on a scale appropriate to its subjects.

Reflection is a key word in my lexicon, as it serves to indicate both the means and the ends of the artistic endeavor. In the work, the viewer is not simply invited but compelled, by use of reflective surfaces, to interrogate their own position vis-a-vis the artwork, and, by extension, vis-a-vis history and culture.

These surfaces, revealing the face of the viewer at every turn, and often to infinity, point to our attempts to escape our unsatisfactory current conditions. Obelisks and flags, potent symbols of colonialism, implicate both American history and its insatiable appetite for global influence, its faith in a ‘manifest destiny’, in the destructive paradoxes of utopian visions. Astrological symbols and labyrinthine structures point to our desire to find meaning and impose structure on the underlying chaos of the Real. And yet, at all times, the viewer is haunted by their own face. By considering the breakdown of utopian imaginary in this manner, my work precisely locates and interrogates the limits of human rationality.