Jacek J. Kolasinski, Chair of FIU Art + Art History, recently returned from a reception of his exhibition in Riga, Latvia at the Art Academy of Latvia.
Last year, he helped spearhead the development of an academic partnership between The FIU College of the Architecture and Arts (CARTA) and the Art Academy of Latvia. As one of the inaugural joint projects, he curated the exhibition Riga and World Cities at Miami Beach Urban Studios, and in June 2014 he was appointed the honour chair presiding over MFA and MA thesis examinations in Riga.
This year, he was back in Latvia to exhibit his own work in Lapidarijs.
Kolasinski was awarded a grant by the Miami-Florida European Union Center of Excellence, along with a Faculty Research Award 2015, for his proposal “Pan-European Identity in Latvia.” His exhibition at the Art Academy of Latvia, entitled Lapidarijs (or Lapidarium in English), is the result of the research he conducted.
A lapidarium is a place where fragments of monuments and architecture are preserved and displayed. The Latin word lapis means “stone.” Often such collections of fragments are derived from the ruins of our distant history. On display in Kolasinski’s exhibition are broken pediments, crumbling marble columns, and shreds of ornate façades with discarded fragments, but of a different material – plastic.
Through three-dimensional printer’s software, Kolasinski has reconstructed from his own childhood memories a collection of mediaeval landmark buildings festooned with flying buttresses, arched windows, and stone-vaulted ceilings. What is interesting about Kolasinski’s reconstructions, however, are the unexpected glitches and “mutations” of forms. That is, the latter provide portals to half-remembered memories.
As a lapidarium exists to commemorate and preserve forlorn and decaying objects (that suddenly and arbitrarily gain importance in history), Kolasinski’s collection of discarded digital failures attempts to elevate and stabilize memory by coating seemingly formless plastic materials in insulating foam sealant and in a hand-drawn, plastic, mesh-like matrix.
In addition to attending the reception for Lapidarijs, Kolasinski attended the US Independence Day celebration that was hosted at the Riga US Embassy, along with Professor Aleksejs Naumovs, the Rector of the Art Academy of Latvia.
Lapidarijs (Lapidarium) is exhibiting until Saturday, October 7th, 2015 at the Art Academy of Latvia: 13 Kalpaka boulevard, Riga, LV-1867, Latvia. For more information, call +371-6733-2202.