How the Present Rearranges the Past

Monika Meler
1/5/18 – 2/4/18

Artist Statement:

Should one recognize that one becomes a foreigner in another country because one is a foreigner within? -Julia Kristeva

I was born and raised in Poland, and at the age of 10, my parents and I immigrated to the United States. Like many immigrants, when I left Poland, I took with me a still picture of the place I considered home. I did not return to Poland for fourteen
uninterrupted years. Upon that return, I expected everything to resemble that still picture, and realized quickly that nothing was the same. I was a foreigner in this land that I belonged to, and realized that the immigrant journey is much more
emotional than physical. Confused and torn, I turned my nostalgia and longing for the Poland I remembered into a reality.

My work examines this desire for the place that no longer exists. The images in my prints explore the Poland that only exists in my mind. I use images that reference my father’s elaborate rose gardens, my mother’s rich textiles, and my parent’s
exquisite vases. These images are printed in many layers on top of one another. Images repeat, change direction, and dominance. All of these actions mimic the actions of memory