Johalla Projects is very pleased to present A l’ouest, its first solo exhibition of work by the Chicago-based artist Marzena Abrahamik. Showing a new series of photographs that considers her intimacy with friends, Abrahamik delves into different, increasingly refined parameters for making that mark a departure from earlier bodies of work that have focused on more marginalized communities. The exhibition will run from March 13 through April 12, 2015. An opening reception will be held on Friday, March 13, 2015 from 7-10pm.
In a wide context, A l’ouest constructs a photographic world without origin or end. All loosely autobiographical in their conception, each of Abrahamik’s images evoke more complex themes that include feminine identity and representation, collaboration between sitter and artist, and interpersonal communication. Each photograph included in the exhibition, in meandering succession, is the result and complement of its connection to the other photographs and their subjects. Simultaneously engineered and organic, they are not always immediately truthful, as Abrahamik intends to point to the broader characteristics of the group of subjects that emerge from the scenes she is simultaneously fashioning and illustrating.
The exhibition’s French title A l’ouest (literally meaning “to the west”), can be colloquially translated here to reference “someone who is daydreaming” or “on another planet,” which further implicates Abrahamik’s nonconcrete, fluid process of composing and designing the images as the portrait sessions are taking place. The final storyline that emerges in each photograph is fueled by this arbitrary exchange, which ultimately contributes to a larger, constructed narrative.
Marzena Abrahamik lives and works in Chicago, IL. In 2013, she received a MFA in Photography from Yale University. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, with highlights including the International Photography Festival, Tel-Aviv, Israel (2014); the Gallery of Classic Photography, Moscow, Russia (2013); Aperture, New York (2013); and the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, Boone, North Carolina (2012).