art maker. sass giver. thing doer.

As an installation artist, or Optical Immersion Specialist, Heidi Zenisek thinks about space and place. How we move in space and how we can be manipulated to move within a space; how we feel in a place and how we can be manipulated to feel within a place. She wonders about the transformation of a space and why or how we think about these different spaces as different places. What differentiates one place from the next space? How are they confined physically and how is the separation of here to there perceived? These questions are portals to another dimension, which highlight the transformation we go through when we enter into and through; but also represent intangible transitions we go through that perhaps are only noticed in retrospect.

Growing up, her playground was six hundred fifty acres of dirt, cows, corn, and rust in Solon, Iowa. Being surrounded by large machinery, expansive landscapes, mass quantities of crop, and witnessing the migration of this crop from field, to wagon, to bin, to semi has influenced the way she goes about scale, movement, and renewal.

On the farm, the exaggeration of time and rapid cycles of life and death are witnessed firsthand. Vast expanses of crop are grown and harvested year after year. Hundreds of calves are born each spring, only to be sold shortly thereafter for slaughter or bred again and again until no longer able. Large quantities of material are vigorously used for months, then discarded or replaced. Denying its impotence, but without pathos, Heidi’s work examines the afterlife and potential of this residual material. Through play with the material’s physical qualities, its aesthetic and conceptual value begins to be redefined based on her perception of life cycles and regeneration, fertilization and insemination, movement and sentiment. Heidi uses sculptural assemblages and installation as a platform to abstract outmoded industrial equipment from their former utility and find a rediscovered relevance within the refuse.

Facets of space, place, community, and commodity heavily influence the work and Heidi as a maker. This incites a movement in her practice, and the continuous pulse has been a driving force behind her work post-BFA. With new places, she's able to investigate industry of the area and accumulate site-specific refuse. Material energy and its connection to the place of collection and creation is questioned, as well as how it is connected to her and him and you and us.