Two video stills formatted on a black background. The left still is a dark skinned child with a ponytail wearing a purple dress standing on concrete, with a similar looking child with a buzzcut behind them turning upside down while hanging from a tree. The still on the right is a light skinned child wearing a multicolor tank top with their face covered by a colorful child's camera.

Stills from EYEBEADS BY WORDS HELD FAST II (2023), video projection. image / provided


Jan Baracz was born in Warsaw, Poland, and moved to New York City in 1981. His projects include Sand Box 1.0 at the Contemporary Art Center, Warsaw, Poland; Life is Short exhibited at Art Basel, Switzerland, in 2002; and The Ghost at artMbassy Gallery in Berlin, Germany, in 2006. Baracz's sequential photographic projection Eyebeads by Words Held Fast premiered in New York in 2006. In 2008, he produced the cinematic installation Reality Cinema/LIVE VIDEO at Art in General in New York, and in 2012 he completed the first installment of the media/sculptural project How to Float Above the Psychic Stampede and Other Traditional Remedies at the Stefan Stoyanov Gallery on New York's Lower East Side. Baracz's installation On the Nature of Dust Deposits, Minerva Owl Flight Patterns and Other Commonly Overlooked Events was on view at Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art in Peekskill, New York, between 2017 and 2019. In 2022 Konnotation Press published his photography book, Eyebeads by Words Held Fast. His recent solo exhibition Mutiny's Darling (2023) at Peninsula Gallery in New York was reviewed by Andrew Woolbright for the Brooklyn Rail. He has received grants and awards from Art Matters, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, the Asian Cultural Council, Edward F. Albee Foundation, and the Kosciuszko Foundation, among others. Baracz's photography has appeared in Paris Review, American Letters & Commentary, and numerous other periodicals.


EYEBEADS II projection twines a sequential composition onto an implicit thread of associative language. Just like our words and notions, the sequence playfully defies aesthetic concerns. Pictures, attractive and ugly, lyrical and jarring, intimate and generic, dramatic and plain, are merely syntactic units in the optical yarn. By braiding an image string that parallels associative language, EYEBEADS proposes a singular pictorial taxonomy and a pictographic order.

The images bound in their pairings trigger sparks along synaptic pathways. As the associations arise, language silently binds the visual particles. It is a dance of corresponding forms, a poem with words unspoken.

Related Links
Jan Baracz's Website

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