Let the whiteness of bones atone to forgetfulness. There is no life in them. As I am forgotten and would be forgotten, so I would forget. Thus devoted, concentrated in purpose. And god said prophecy to the wind, only the wind will listen. And the bones sang chirping…
End of the endless journey to no end.— T.S. ELIOT — Ash Wednesday —
The World Bone Project
As I removed a roast from the oven the meat separated from its bone, and that bone appeared to me in all its singularity. My entry into Bone World. I am in love with bones. There is a perpetual repetition in the body via bones, as there is repetition in the unconscious, in the trauma, in recovery. The bones mediate between two worlds, the living and the dead, the material and the spiritual.
The Space Between
The body as location, as both subject and object, and the ways in which memory and trauma have their way with us is my endless fascination. Memories and trauma register in the body, forming an uncanny presence that awaits articulation. I return again and again to the body as self, as home. We inhabit this place that is an exquisite corpse. In this meditation on the body and its interior and the world in which we are located, I encounter the space between longing and loss, memory and its erasure, permanence and dissipation. Memory is a resurrection, a retrieval, a lullaby.
Collaged: The Art of Desecration
To desecrate is to make inquiry, the destructive act of creation mirrors what happens to the body. The grotesque and the uncanny must be involved, because this is a part of the (fascination with) body. The body is the ultimate historian, the story-teller, the encoder of experience, of love and hate. The body is an impermanent landscape. We cannot know the body until we contemplate its disappearance. We are assembled beings awaiting attribution. We must collage ourselves hoping to retain what is already gone.
(Body of) Women
Confounding things happen to women’s bodies during their lifetimes. We become divided subjects from the beginning; segregated from the womb to become ourselves, ushered into our seasonal existence with the flow of blood. What inscriptions, invasions, beautifications and mark-making will occur? There is surrender to the fate of the body, destiny, death. But there is also moving forward in spite of everything. The female body is a mystery, as is the psyche.
Francesca Schwartz is a New York based artist and psychoanalyst. Schwartz’s work rests on her fascination with the contents and materials that make up the body. Originally working in bone, her work has expanded to include paint, wax, metal, found objects and textiles, finding expression in collage and assembled works. Her art making addresses many of the same questions confronted in her practice, finding meaning through the articulation of the unconscious and the necessary, preoccupation with the body, its disappearance, life’s beginnings and death.
Schwartz’s work has been shown at a solo show at Studio 1608, Miami Florida (November 2018); and several group shows including “Arrested Heart,” at Postcards from the Edge, New York (February 2019); “Winds over Haiti,” Hampton’s Artists for Haiti, Southampton, New York (June 2018), “Prayer,” New York School of the Arts, New York; and “Female,” the National Academy Museum & School, (October 2017). Her work has been featured in the CLIO Art Fair, New York (October 2017 and March 2018). Her work appears on Artsy.com, and has been included in the publication Room 2.18. She has participated in several residency programs with Michael David culminating in group exhibitions at David & Schweitzer Gallery, Brooklyn, New York. An interview with the artist and her most recent series will appear in clioartfair.com and ny-artnews.com.
Francesca Schwartz Resides in Manhattan, the home of her practice, teaching, and art making.
New York City