Catherine Czacki, The Baroness is all hands


     A needle driven into a tabletop.
     A pen nib driven into a lemon rind. A nail file driven into a box.
     A safety pin driven into a piece of cardboard.
     A nail driven into the wall, right above the floor. 1 


The Baroness is all hands … 

Methods of arranging matter and objects inherit the past of manipulating material things – the items might be stolen, found, and or given. They are objects often tagged ‘unambitious’, yet persist in their material presence. Expounding upon themes both historical and narrative, aiming towards non-­‐hierarchical language, hoping to reveal the fissures of historical discipline. This is the poetics of historical influence, the lineage one inherits known or unknown when they address matter with hands, and words with thought. The Baroness comes through, she always comes through, with her hands – hands touching the things, hands attached to her body. body that we no longer have access to.

This female influence exists behind the closed doors of modernism, generally ignored or misattributed, she is the antiquated debased dialectical opposition to the finish fetish commodity. She is the basement, the plumbing.

Closed doors / back rooms. Misattribution, historical blindness. Hers is not the shiny finished readymade of male peers, but rather it is the antiquated, the trifle, the trash, the bauble, the "eternal ornament"

(It would really fuck with the ready-­‐made to find a woman had invented it – at least had more of a hand in it – a hand obscured by the crushing weight of time...A shop girl type no less.)


Catherine Czacki, The Baroness is all hands, excerpt, 2014

1 Witold Gombrowicz, Cosmos, trans. Danuta Borchardt (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005), p.79.

Catherine Czacki is an artist and a PHD student at the University of California, San Diego, in Art History, Theory & Criticism – Concentration Art Practice. She participated to the Session 2 in November 2014, at PARMER, Brooklyn. More to see on her website here 

Catherine Czacki, The Baroness is all hands. PVC pipe, sharkbite, metal objects – earring, knife, washer, chain, carabiner, keyrings (found / given / stolen), 2014.

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