Kelly Jazvac

Polyempath Polyethylene

Guest Curated by Katie Lawson

In Polyempath Polyethylene, Montréal-based Kelly Jazvac presents an installation of new works, continuing to work under the rubric of plastic pollution and the ubiquity of synthetic materials in contemporary life.

In Polyempath Polyethylene, Montréal-based Kelly Jazvac presents an installation of new artworks, continuing to engage with the prevalence of synthetic materials in contemporary life. Polyethylene is the most common and versatile plastic polymer, and is present in the artist’s practice through a commitment to working with recycled post-consumer materials. Featuring sculptures five years in the making, Jazvac has worked at a pace that is more sustainable and responsive to the process of material salvaging involved in her environmentally-conscious practice. These works are paired against the uncanny meeting of bodies and landscapes, using sewing techniques to alter waste from commercial advertising and drawing on its visual vocabulary. How do we understand the true scale of plastic pollution and the climate crisis, and how does it feel in our bodies?

This exhibition is complemented by a critical text, written by guest curator Katie Lawson.

Kelly Jazvac (b. Hamilton, Ontario 1980) has exhibited nationally and internationally, including recent exhibitions at MoMA (New York); Ujazdowski Castle (Warsaw); the Eli and Edyth Broad Museum (University of Michigan) and the Musée d’Art Contemporain (Montréal).
She is represented by FIERMAN Gallery, New York.

Katie Lawson (b. Eugene, Oregon) is a Toronto-based curator and writer. She is currently Curator for the Toronto Biennial of Art.

The artist would like to thank The Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, James Abbott at Montreal Glass Blowing for his glass fabrication; Dr. Natalie Tufenkji and Laura Hernadez Rodriguez at the Biocolloid and Surfaces Lab at McGill University for the plastic microfibre samples; Théo Bignon, Cassie Paine, Kyle Alden Martens and Elliott Elliot for their studio assistance. 

Images: Installation views of Kelly Jazvac: Polyempath Polyethylene, MacLaren Art Centre, 2021. Photos: Laura Findlay


Family Activity

Due to the social distancing measures introduced to combat COVID-19, the MacLaren has created self-guided activities that families can do together at home. Through a variety of exciting games and challenges, this activity sheet is designed to help children and their caregivers have fun while learning about the content and ideas present in the exhibition. Families may also refer to the didactic text as a starting point to interpreting the exhibition.

Please download the PDF below to get started!


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