REBECCA WASILEWSKI

Good / Better : Why / Why Not?         custom video piece for Art on the Marquee, Boston, MA Good/Better : Why/Why Not? is a visual exploration of a minor epiphany that has caused major effects in my life. Curious and cautious by nature, I have been well served by always asking why, but that eventually lead to over-validating all my decisions. I was getting bogged down by justifying daily minutia, choices in my art practice, and major life decisions. A few years ago, I made a hasty, ridiculous drawing to use as a postcard. Anticipating a confused reaction, I added, “Sometimes it’s better to ask why not?” and dropped it in the mail. This revelation became a breakthrough in and outside the studio. By inverting the Why?, our patterns are disrupted and analyzed, and new actions are provoked. Why not? gives greater flexibility in responding, deciding, and creating. Also, listing reasons why something should not be often reveals clearer and fewer choices, leading to quicker and more instinctive resolutions. In Good/Better, this playful but profound dialogue unfolds. The lively, metaphoric video demands attention. Why? fades in slowly and is prolonged; it is the mental rut we unconsciously trace again and again. That line of thinking is cut, there is a dark pause, and finally Why Not? replaces Why?, attacking our query from the opposite direction. To develop this custom marquee piece, I teamed up with Ben Pender-Cudlip. The imagery in Good/Better is previously unseen footage from our ongoing film series Chromatic Aberrations. The HD video was shot live and uses no animation or digital manipulation except for speed adjustments. I hope viewers remain mentally engaged with Good/Better’s broad implications well beyond its short duration. At the very least, the piece substantiates itself in a most literal way: A passerby may wonder, “Why? Why is there such a strange video playing on these enormous public screens?” The simplest counter is, “Well, why not?”  

Good / Better : Why / Why Not?         custom video piece for Art on the Marquee, Boston, MA

Good/Better : Why/Why Not? is a visual exploration of a minor epiphany that has caused major effects in my life. Curious and cautious by nature, I have been well served by always asking why, but that eventually lead to over-validating all my decisions. I was getting bogged down by justifying daily minutia, choices in my art practice, and major life decisions. A few years ago, I made a hasty, ridiculous drawing to use as a postcard. Anticipating a confused reaction, I added, “Sometimes it’s better to ask why not?” and dropped it in the mail. This revelation became a breakthrough in and outside the studio. By inverting the Why?, our patterns are disrupted and analyzed, and new actions are provoked. Why not? gives greater flexibility in responding, deciding, and creating. Also, listing reasons why something should not be often reveals clearer and fewer choices, leading to quicker and more instinctive resolutions.

In Good/Better, this playful but profound dialogue unfolds. The lively, metaphoric video demands attention. Why? fades in slowly and is prolonged; it is the mental rut we unconsciously trace again and again. That line of thinking is cut, there is a dark pause, and finally Why Not? replaces Why?, attacking our query from the opposite direction.

To develop this custom marquee piece, I teamed up with Ben Pender-Cudlip. The imagery in Good/Better is previously unseen footage from our ongoing film series Chromatic Aberrations. The HD video was shot live and uses no animation or digital manipulation except for speed adjustments. I hope viewers remain mentally engaged with Good/Better’s broad implications well beyond its short duration. At the very least, the piece substantiates itself in a most literal way: A passerby may wonder, “Why? Why is there such a strange video playing on these enormous public screens?” The simplest counter is, “Well, why not?”

 

digital preview for "Good/Better: Why/Why Not?" video art commission, Art on the Marquee 

 
Stop Telling Everyone How Pretty They Are #yoursolutionisaproblem #newgrammar  

Stop Telling Everyone How Pretty They Are

#yoursolutionisaproblem #newgrammar

 

Everyone Is Not Having More Sex Than You #restonthebeach #normalizedlies
Everyone Is Not Having More Sex Than You
#restonthebeach #normalizedlies

Stop Telling Everyone How Pretty They Are and Everyone Is Not Having More Sex Than You are the first two pieces in a new series that references and undermines certain visual and thematic trends of today. They are allusions to —but not mimics of— a pervasive social media format of a “pretty” photo paired with an “inspirational” quote. Unlike these memes that saturate Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, however, Stop and Everyone contain unexpected messages in their text.

stop telling everyone how pretty they are : #yoursolutionisaproblem

Some make a habit of telling others how good they look as a well-intentioned attempt to boost self-confidence; however, this further ingrains the connection of physical appearance and self worth. Moreover, hyperbolic compliments are now so common they are expected, even obligatory, and so give rise to a new layer of anxiety if one does not receive enough praising comments. “Why hasn’t anyone told me I’m stunning or gorgeous!?” *refresh*

stop telling everyone how pretty they are : #newgrammar

#newgrammar is a literal reference to the increasing use of “they” as a singular pronoun in place of “he” or “she.” This new use has proliferated on the internet and is now accepted by many as a correct, non-gendered singular pronoun.  More importantly, though, #newgrammar is a call for people to develop a new infrastructure (grammar) of relating to and uplifting one another—one that does not hinge on physical appearance.

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everyone is not having more sex than you

This piece is not a call to action like Stop but rather a reassuring voice of reason. The glistening image of the beach at sunset calls to mind idealized notions of romance and sex. The text, however, undercuts this association and subverts the incessant message from commercial media that everyone, absolutely everyone, is having a lot of exciting sex all the time; and if you’re not, you aren’t living right, are missing out, and are decidedly a loser.

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These works feature original photos by Michael McVey (used with express permission), which have not been digitally enhanced in any way. The photos were carefully selected not only to appropriately match each piece’s message, but also because they function aesthetically and formally on their own: undeniably lovely, with engaging compositions, and certainly part of art history’s long tradition of landscapes. This grounds the work. Although conceptually addressing today’s society and technology-based communications —which are slip-shod, flippant, and based in irony—Stop and Everyone are carefully crafted and earnest.

Finally, I hope these pieces remind viewers to get off the internet, out of their heads, out of doors, and to simply enjoy existence.

 

Chromatic Aberration: Signs of Things to Come, short film, duration: 2:34min

A complete piece on its own, this short film showcases a few different aesthetic landscapes that will be in the upcoming series of Chromatic Aberration short films. Each film will be 2-12 minutes long and will have focused imagery and scores to create an immersive viewer experience - each one distinct from the other. The audio on this film is composed of copyright free "Numbers Stations."

Chromatic Aberration 2, Video Still

Chromatic Aberration 2, Video Still

Chromatic Aberration 2, Video Still

Chromatic Aberration 2, Video Still

Chromatic Aberration A, short experimental film, duration 11:56 min

*sound is an integral part of this piece

This piece was an attempt to realize my prints and paintings in motion. Visually, it is not very focused and has technical issues, but musical duo Connector did such a fantastic job with the score that it is worth viewing in total. Headphones are recommended. This was a launch-pad for a second session of more directed shooting with improved technique. 

Cloudscape, oil on canvas, 24 x 18”

Cloudscape, oil on canvas, 24 x 18”

Cloud Column, oil on canvas, 24 x 18”

Cloud Column, oil on canvas, 24 x 18”

Cloud Study, oil on canvas mounted on panel, 10 x 6"

Cloud Study, oil on canvas mounted on panel, 10 x 6"

Linger and Hoist (Microscopic print series), editionable transfer, 5x9”, edition of 10

Linger and Hoist (Microscopic print series), editionable transfer, 5x9”, edition of 10

Sermon (Microscopic print series), editionable transfer, 6x11”, edition of 11

Sermon (Microscopic print series), editionable transfer, 6x11”, edition of 11

300 Octopuses (Microscopic print series), editionable transfer, 5x5” edition of 14

300 Octopuses (Microscopic print series), editionable transfer, 5x5” edition of 14

Contents of One (Microscopic print series), edition able transfer, 6x11” edition of 12

Contents of One (Microscopic print series), edition able transfer, 6x11” edition of 12


Microscopium (view from east), Site Specific Installation, Boston, MA Vutec inks on PETG plastic, Vutec inks on mounted Lintec material three suspended panels, each panel: 96 x 40”  

Microscopium (view from east), Site Specific Installation, Boston, MA

Vutec inks on PETG plastic, Vutec inks on mounted Lintec material
three suspended panels, each panel: 96 x 40”

 

Microscopium (detail view from east), Site Specific Installation, Boston, MA Vutec inks on PETG plastic, Vutec inks on mounted Lintec material three suspended panels, each panel: 96 x 40”  

Microscopium (detail view from east), Site Specific Installation, Boston, MA

Vutec inks on PETG plastic, Vutec inks on mounted Lintec material
three suspended panels, each panel: 96 x 40”

 

Title page of All the Little Live Things (artist's book) Book info: materials: book board, book cloth, etching ink on Rives BFK Lightweight Off-White paper monotype plates: 9.5x 13.5cm; page size: 16 x 24.5cm hardcover/adhesive binding, 14 pages overall book dimensions when closed: 17 x 13.5 x 1.5 cm  

Title page of All the Little Live Things (artist's book)

Book info:

materials: book board, book cloth, etching ink on Rives BFK Lightweight Off-White paper

monotype plates: 9.5x 13.5cm; page size: 16 x 24.5cm

hardcover/adhesive binding, 14 pages

overall book dimensions when closed: 17 x 13.5 x 1.5 cm

 

All the Little Live Things, page 7 monotype, etching ink on Rives BFK Lightweight  

All the Little Live Things, page 7

monotype, etching ink on Rives BFK Lightweight

 

All the Little Live Things, page 4 monotype, etching ink on Rives BFK Lightweight  

All the Little Live Things, page 4

monotype, etching ink on Rives BFK Lightweight

 

All the Little Live Things, page 9 monotype, etching ink on Rives BFK Lightweight  

All the Little Live Things, page 9

monotype, etching ink on Rives BFK Lightweight

 

Us, No. 7  monotype: etching ink on Rives BFK Lightweight Off-White paper; compositions: 20 x 14.5cm; pages: 31.5 x 24cm  

Us, No. 7

 monotype: etching ink on Rives BFK Lightweight Off-White paper; compositions: 20 x 14.5cm; pages: 31.5 x 24cm

 

Us, No. 7  monotype: etching ink on Rives BFK Lightweight Off-White paper; compositions: 20 x 14.5cm; pages: 31.5 x 24cm  

Us, No. 7

 monotype: etching ink on Rives BFK Lightweight Off-White paper; compositions: 20 x 14.5cm; pages: 31.5 x 24cm

 

Us, No. 10 monotype: etching ink on Rives BFK Lightweight Off-White paper; compositions: 20 x 14.5cm; pages: 31.5 x 24cm

Us, No. 10

monotype: etching ink on Rives BFK Lightweight Off-White paper; compositions: 20 x 14.5cm; pages: 31.5 x 24cm