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Iviva Olenick
Brooklyn, NY
Neighborhood: Boerum Hill



ARTIST STATEMENT: I re-contextualize traditional women's handcrafts (weaving, dyeing, embroidery) within our contemporary digital age, translating selfies, tweets and Facebook posts into embroideries and fabric sculptures. As we increasingly rely on technology, I fear a loss of the art of one-on-one, face-to-face, intimate communication. As an antidote, I convey, through stitched drawings, subtle body language, uncomfortable emotion and even awkward positioning of hands, shoulders, jaw line, eyes and eyebrows, compelling a sense of immediacy and intimacy. The texts I embroider are tweet-length poems and stream-of-consciousness musings about the widening gap between intention and behavior online, or what I refer to as "our selfies versus our psyches." My hand-stitched missives are nostalgic mementos mimicking mostly bygone hand-written, snail-mailed letters.

Embroideries are a tangible record of a moment, thought, feeling or event. By contrast, tweets and Instagram pics refresh every second. And while online data may technically exist forever, most online posts leave our personal, social and cultural memories as quickly as they appeared. By embroidering digital ephemera, I question the ways we craft and define identity. I also broach the question of cultural heritage: if so much of our lives are online, and our current forms of media and communication will eventually become obsolete, how will future generations connect with our current era? In the absence of a cultural desire for preservation and an absence of objects to preserve, I craft my own relics.

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  • He Stepped in a Pool of Red Paint
    2014
    Paint on fabric with stiffener, stuffing, embroidery

  • From Russia to Brooklyn to Russia (with Love)
    2014
    Sculptures with paint on fabric, stiffener, stuffing, embroidery

  • This Country Is My Home and Not My Home
    2014
    Paint on fabric with stiffener, stuffing, embroidery

  • We Carry Our Homes on Our Backs
    2014
    Paint on fabric with stiffener, stuffing, fabric

  • Tree House Canopy, Brooklyn Family
    2014
    Sculptures with paint on fabric, stiffener, stuffing, embroidery

  • Dollhouses, Tree Houses: Childhood Memories as Home
    2014
    Paint and embroidery on fabric and trim with fabric stiffener

  • Emotional Opacity
    2014
    Paint on fabric with cut out and embroidery

  • IRL/URL
    2013
    Paint and embroidery on fabric

  • Selfie aka Love in the iPhone Era
    2013
    Paint and embroidery on fabric

  • Subway Blues
    2013
    Paint and embroidery on fabric

  • #QueensStyle
    2014
    Paint and embroidery on fabric

  • What I Can Glean from Facebook
    2013
    Paint and embroidery on fabric

  • Bearded Brooklyn
    2014
    Paint and embroidery on fabric and trim with fabric stiffener

  • F Train Couple
    2014
    Paint and embroidery on fabric

  • Goth Girl
    2013
    Embroidery on fabric
    Text supplied by an anonymous friend for @EmbroideryPoems, my 2013 Brooklyn Arts Council sponsored project for which I embroidered my own and others' tweet-length poems.

  • Wistful Digital Longings
    2014
    embroidery on fabric

  • Facebook Page
    2012
    Embroidery on antique textile with borrowed text

  • Earthquake
    2012
    hand and machine embroidery on fabric with borrowed text

  • Love Permanence
    2013
    embroidery on antique textile
 








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