Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Where's your hat?

One of my favorite discoveries that came out of curating Cutting Edge was the work of Janice Jakielski. Her head pieces are gorgeous, textural, creations with powerful emotional ambiguity and incredible use of color.

Her work references early 20th century fashion hats, bonnets, pilot helmets, and musicality through their form. Considering that most of her work connects one head to another there is an interesting conversation about connectivity, relationship, and the way we move together in space.

She states:

I make objects for the body in order to transform the world and how we perceive the world... Objects have the ability to cultivate intimate relationships and provide self-awareness through encounter. Fabricating for the body, I use recognizable forms and particular craftsmanship in order to lend the pieces authority as functional objects.

The forms that I choose are drawn from personal but familiar sources; my grandmother’s circa 1930’s hat collection, Amish bonnets from my childhood trips to the farmer’s market, the colors of a Brahmin town visited in India. This familiarity increases the approachability of the body objects. Through the use of humor, meticulous detail and ambiguous function I coax my audience to investigate closer, closing the physical gap between viewer and object. In this way I want the details of my workmanship to act as a whisper, flirtatiously seductive in its discretion.

My most recent explorations have a focus on communication and relationships. This work is a humorous investigation of actual, metaphorical and poetic means of building connections between peoples. I am exploring methods of communication and the navigation of the spaces, both physical and mental, that we inhabit. I am intrigued with creating new ways of seeing, hearing and participating with our surroundings. By disrupting or enhancing the senses, my props make possible an exaggerated self-awareness, a break in the normalcy of daily experience. With the body dressings I am creating a threshold space between reality and the imagination. This work is a social experiment of sorts, a mediated event to explore communication, comfort and complacency through play.

As she states the ambiguity of the work is essential to its power asking the viewer how do we navigate, use, and understand this object? I personally would love to see her venture into more performance forcing people to stand close, be connected, but often not looking at each other...I actually find it quite interesting that most of her work has the mannequins looking away from one another- so they are physically connected but not able to see each others faces.

No matter what I really love Janice's work and am so excited that she will be speaking at the artist talk on October 8. Hopefully you can come and see her speak along with quite a few other artists.

See more of her work here.

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