Bianca Kolonusz-ParteeGuerneville, CA
I explore industrial landscapes that exist within the more complex natural world. A global freeway container shipping provides a keen barometer of where we are right now. The environmental impact of shipping such large quantities of goods through mega ports is huge. And yet creating my work from recycled product packaging that friends and family mail to me I have come to realize how attached I am to the highly designed packaged world that surrounds us. By bringing simulations of the often-tucked away industrial shipping ports to viewers I hope they will have their own experience of the contemporary world.
I focus on industrial landscapes because I care so much about the natural landscape and feel that our connection to it is crucial as human beings. I worry that the further we get into our technological thingies the more detached we become from the natural landscape and the less we care what happens to it and ourselves. Working in large shipping ports I have discovered something unexpected– birds, water and land reclaim the manufactured landscape. Though I question our obsession with technology I myself make digital videos of container shipping ports which I later work from in my studio to piece together the landscape. This has allowed me to observe the natural landscape that these industrial centers sit within as the subtle movement of the water, sky and trees reveal themselves in my videos.
After exploring the massive American shipping ports including: Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco I am planning a trip to research the ports of Asia. Visiting Asia will allow me to delve deeper into the complex issues involved in global commerce. The East is harshly criticized for the by-products of their rapid development, but demand for their products comes from this side of the world. As I research the Asian Shipping Ports I grapple with trying to see the full picture of something without being in the place. Relying on You Tube videos rather than my own physical experience and digital recordings makes me aware of how we understand most things outside of the place we live through a barrage of media. Relying on the recordings of others to piece together these places is both humbling and voyeuristic. I look forward to my assumptions being replaced by the complexities that exist in a place that is developing faster than anything we have ever seen before.
A few years ago I moved back to Northern California from New York City where I had continued my explorations of container shipping ports in the more densely packed eastern ports of New York and New Jersey. I have exhibited my work in the Bay Area as well as Los Angeles, Texas, Missouri, Virginia and Germany. I am currently preparing work for a group show titled "The New World" at the Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art in January 2013. My piece Outward Inward 2 along with several pieces from my Asian Port series were shown at 555 12th Street in Oakland from February - July 2012. I had a solo exhibition of my work about Asian shipping ports called "Countries of Origin" at Offramp Gallery in Pasadena in January 2012.
Born and raised in Sonoma County I received by Bachelor of Arts from Mount Holyoke College in 1997 before moving to San Francisco. I received my Masters of Fine Arts in Painting/Drawing from Claremont Graduate University in 2007. In Los Angeles I continued what I had begun in the Oakland shipping port eventually traveling through the Long Beach and San Pedro ports in a flat raft like boat, which allowed me to experience the ports by traveling through them.