Zena Zakanycz

Zena Zakanycz


October 5, 2017 – November 5, 2017

My grandfather’s home was built on stilts on the Mississippi River. The Delta experiences a flood every few years since he has lived there. At times the water rises to the top of the levee, other times it covers the stilts. The last two times, the lower level of his home flooded. This process has forced him to move but he can’t sell the house. How does one describe the relationship between the sentimental value it holds for him and the lack of use the house holds for any potential buyer? 

Now it sits vacant.

My mother says, “A house is a living thing, if neglected, it will die.” 

I have been looking through pictures on Zillow, particularly of vacant homes. These are either “for sale by owner” or “pre-foreclosure”: steps, in the real estate world, that indicate a small death for the home. These images illustrate abandonment, lifelessness, and lack of use that breaks my heart or at times makes me laugh. 

This exhibition features a collection of images from homes that were in this phase in the metro Atlanta area in the month of August. The collection is viewed on a screen, the form that most individuals can choose to view death, heartbreak and joy, at a distance, daily. In the space there are two accumulations. One, a tangled pile of the edge of carpet, cut away from a room it was too big for. The other, miss matched blinds that once longed for pairs or groups, was discarded, collected and reintegrated together.


Zena Zakanycz

Zena Zakanycz works with Habitat for Humanity, realtors, professional organizers and junk removal companies, to assist in the movement of material out of domestic spaces. This contact is a means of investigating individuals need to collect possessions as representative of the self within an intimate space. Her latest projects focus on documentation and communication. She is currently taking photographs of light and shadows on a suburban golf course. She has another ongoing project with her collaborator that requires constant collection of found objects and detritus from their current geographies that will eventually be embedded into concrete slates. Earlier this year she worked in Philadelphia at RAIR as the artist in residence, collecting discarded materials and returning her own works of art to the waste stream. She studied textiles and sculpture at Georgia State University and received her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University.


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