Jarod Charzewski

October 7 - November 12, 2011

Jarod Charzweski and a team of local volunteers will construct an immersive sculptural installation with second-hand clothing, carefully sorted, folded and then positioned to mimic the geological appearance of layers of sedimentary rock.

Jarod Charzewski was born in Winnipeg and holds a BFA from University of Manitoba and an MFA in sculpture from University of Minnesota. His work has been shown widely across North America. He is currently assistant professor at the College of Charleston in Charleston, SC.


Karen Ann Myers is an artist, educator and curator. She received an MFA in Painting from Boston University and a BFA in Studio Art from Michigan State University. She is currently serving as the Assistant Director at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, South Carolina. In addition, Myers is an active artist and her paintings and works on paper have been shown throughout the US. To learn more about Karen Ann Myers, please visit


The scale, stratified layering and topography of Jarod Charzewski’s site-specific installations suggest landscape. The work illustrates the reality of consumer culture’s effect on the landscape by reconstructing a cross section of the earth made mostly of used clothes. Obtaining material is always a challenge for the artist, as it is important not to buy pieces that would inevitably lead to further consumption to make the piece. As a result, Jarod obtains the clothing by chance. It is always donated, and never altered.

Often, he obtains used clothes from local Goodwill stores, which are given on loan from the store and returned at the closing of the exhibition. The choice of used cloths as apposed to other discarded items makes his work more identifiable, as most everyone can relate to the accumulation and disposal of it.

Charzewski’s work is about consumption and the lifespan of our belongings. The bridge in his most recent installation symbolizes the way our parents lived, the gap that exists between generations and how each generation consumes differently. Today, we are full swing into a consumer culture. It’s ironic to note that as a consumer culture, we are supposed to go shopping more to save our economy.

Our discarded items are literally reforming the layers of the earth to create simulated natural environments. They are complete distortions of what natural is. The organized disposal of waste in landfills represents years of accumulation as a choreographed synthetic landscape. What would it look like if we took a graphic section of the earth? The section of the earth would unveil the items we discarded and archeologists will try to understand why we discarded layers of electronic waste, untrendy clothing and other reusable or recyclable items. Today’s consumer items are made with a shelf-life, ready to become a new layer of our earth.

Charzewski’s installations are shifting towards incorporating geometric and architectural structures into the vocabulary of forms that he regularly uses. With this development one gets the impression that the conceptual narrative in his installations is keeping pace with an active formal inquiry. The result is a cohesive statement that has the potential to include many new ideas. Variation and innovation are built into Jarods studio practice as his material change along with the site of each installation. This resourcefulness is one of the many things that is attractive about his work. Another is the unselfconscious artifice. Colorful detailed layers form structural elements, which seem to have accumulated over time. While his installations reference landscapes they are sculptures; metaphors, events.

Jarod Charzewski offers us the opportunity to reflect on our consumer culture—to see our own discarded items recorded in these new permanent layers of the earth.

- Karen Ann Myers, 2011