Siennik / Palliasse 

2019
Single channel video, with audio, 8 min
Drywall, wood, charcoal paint, hay, inkjet print on foamcore, canvas

Solo Exhbition
California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA
January 2019 
Thesis Committe: Leslie Dick, Thomas Lawson, Harry Dodge



‘Palliasse’, an early 16th century word for straw mattress, from French ‘paillasse’, based on Latin ‘palea’ meaning ‘straw’. In French, it is also a derogatory term for a clown or a fool.

Taking a straw mattress (in Polish, ‘siennik’) as a departure for the exhibition, the artist examines a neglected everyday object of the past as a site for an investigation into the emergence of a political subject. The conditions of this emergence point back towards systems of oppression — class, poverty, forced and unpaid labor — and issues resulting from economic inequality and economic migration.

Palliasse represents a kind of horizontality of labor expressed in a multitude of functions that play out as acts of resistance against power, desire against domination, relationships against rule, and body against authority.