Heidi Schwegler is drawn to the peripheral ruin, modifying discarded objects to give them a new sense of purpose. Selected exhibitions include the Co/Lab Art Fair (CA), Raid Projects, (CA), Platform China (Beijing), Scope Art 2004 (NY), and the Hallie Ford Museum (OR). Schwegler is a recent Yaddo and Ford Family Fellow and received a 2010 MacDowell Colony Fellowship. Reviews of her work have been featured in Art in America, Daily Serving, ArtNews and the Huffington Post. Schwegler is currently represented by Upfor Gallery, Portland and Mark Moore Gallery, Los Angeles.
I am interested in the lives of objects and the transference of memory. In our day to day, our memories fill the spaces around us, they seep into the carpet and become crystallized in the objects that bear witness to our lives. Because of this, these particular things act upon us as we forget, instigating memory. And therein lies the transference: the thing becomes a body, the body a thing.
My style as an artist is a hybrid of conceptual art and craft, it is important that the objects I fabricate are well made and at the same time provocative and meaningful. In reaction to the ubiquity of the disposed commodity now empty of use value, I am interested in making beautiful objects that deal with those private tragedies that make us distressingly aware of our own mortality. I abstract the found object into something new, while also taking care to maintain its original context. As an urban archaeologist, I prefer to mine the peripheral ruin, the discarded stuff that is ignored and considered worthless. By reassigning the value and purpose of something recognizable, I emphasize the perforation between what it was and what it has now become. I find the fragment to be a resource full of creative potential, in that its story is no longer complete, and this malleable state allows it to remain pervious to the imagination. Objects that are normally overlooked, like a discarded and rotting mattress, a crushed lampshade buried at the Goodwill Bins or a gas can used for target practice in Mt Hood National Forest, are instantly evocative. When an object’s purpose ceases (yet it is not fully considered trash) one could say it is lingering in a sort of living death. Its past, present and future are tumbled together in a sort of timelessness. In a digitally mediated world, bombarded with images that scroll by at such a rate it is virtually impossible to deeply consider what you are looking at, having an opportunity to stop and take notice, to consider what is typically overlooked seems to be the exception.