Stephen Wozniak
Progeny Clutch
MDF, white maple wood veneer, stain, conversion varnish, polished chrome wire cabinet pulls
14” H x 60” W x 3” D

“I’m often interested in taking one salient element or issue and looking at it in my work. A few years ago, I made a piece entitled Progeny Clutch. It was loosely inspired by Nadja Suleman, the “Octomom,” who utilized assisted reproductive technology to bear a flock of children in one pregnancy and delivery. It’s a big horizontal piece and it looks like a long cabinet door turned on its side. But it features thirty-five chrome wire pull handles, the kind you’d see, of course, on a kitchen cabinet door to pull it open. These pulls overlap to create this long, straight zipper-like element you can’t quite grab. Yet there are thirty-five of them available. You seemingly have access to what looks like a giant door that can take you to any place, and yet it’s stuck on a wall in an unexpected orientation. It’s not hinged, so you can’t open it. There’s no food in the cupboard behind the cabinet door. There’s nothing back there, yet it’s almost like an entry – or an exit, even – in concept only. I’m fascinated by the excess culture that especially makes up America – but now other parts of the West and beyond. Progeny Clutch and pieces like it allude to that excess and inaccessibility. There’s so much available to us and yet Western people don’t exactly know what to do with it. You know, I think that is such a common occurrence in America. It’s fascinating and problematic to me.”

– Stephen Wozniak, Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art interview, 2020