Jessica Serran: FIELD GUIDE TO THE CZECH PSYCHE

Prague-based Canadian artist Jessica Serran has spent the last two and a half years walking the “field” and trying to answer the questions, “what does it mean to be from a particular place, and how does that place affect your sense of who you are in the world?” The project has a particular relevance to Serran given her Czechoslovak ancestry, her interest in how the past both shapes and informs the present, and her work as a psycho-cartographer.
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Prague-based Canadian artist Jessica Serran has spent the last two and a half years walking the “field” and trying to answer the questions, “what does it mean to be from a particular place, and how does that place affect your sense of who you are in the world?” The project has a particular relevance to Serran given her Czechoslovak ancestry, her interest in how the past both shapes and informs the present, and her work as a psycho-cartographer.

Based on a series of nine interviews with Czech citizens and the collection of personal photographs that each participant provided, Serran delves into these questions and responds to them visually, weaving together thoughts, stories and gathered images in landscapes that map out this terrain where identity meets place and the past meets the present.

In an excerpt from the book, Serran writes:
“As paintings, these images piece together the fragments that I took to be essential to each individual. Sometimes they do this carefully, and quite literally, other times loosely and metaphorically. Occasionally, what one person told me made its way into the painting for another. They are neither illustrations, nor traditional landscape paintings, nor are they portraits. They are evidence of what happens when we let alien elements in and how the field changes when we enter it. They depend on paradox, tension and the presence of an “other.” These are paintings about Czech people, yes, but more than that they are an opportunity to meander through the landscape of the psyche – both your own and those of our dear participants, and perhaps, while doing so gain a better sense of where you are now standing and how you came to be here.”

Bilingual : Czech and English
Book dimensions: 155 x 105 x 50 mm
574 pages + 10 posters A2
ISBN 978-80-86450-80-3
2013


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