Participating artist: Bryan Zanisnik (US)
Curator: Marco Antonini
Weekend Warrior is Bryan Zanisnik’s first exhibition in the Czech Republic and the first retrospective dedicated to the work of this emerging American artist.
Zanisnik’s oeuvre offers one of the most exceptionally consistent examples of creative involvement of an artist’s family.Mining the wealth of objects, stories, legends and talent most closely available to him, Zanisnik has created an ongoing series of performances and photographic works that put his own family members, and the apparently infinite amounts of souvenirs and paraphernalia they hoarded, under the spotlight. Creating immersive environments somewhere between bombed rec-room and thrift store owner/customer nightmare, and engaging in all sorts of symbolic activities with his relatives, Zanisnik uses constructed familiar and domestic setting to project anxieties about his own persona and unfold retro-active cathartic narratives.
Reveling in plain, unapologetic weirdness while making the most of a completely genuine sense of humor that characterizes even the most serious and problematic of his works, the artist summarizes the variety of different approaches used by other artists of his generation in addressing family and domestic environments. His work is inclusive, it digs the family mine directly and still never fails to transform recognizable objects, places and situations into something deeply “else,” charging them with meanings far beyond those suggested by an anecdotal reading of the work.
It makes good use of humor and strikes as often plain funny while also successfully conveying feelings of humiliation, inadequacy, even horror and disgust. Finally, and probably most importantly, Zanisnik’s work is about family bonds and rituals but, in so many ways it isn’t, as most of the artists’ concerns are firmly grounded in reflections on his individuality and/or far reaching considerations on American culture and the influence of normative, restrictive environments on human development.