On the top list of “my favourite things” at the moment there are a number of artworks from different artists I came to know while browsing the net. All these artists deal with themes that have been debated by many, but they do it twisting the perspectives and adding new unsettling points of views.
For example, in the series “Call Yourself A Mother“, Hester Jones challenges the idea of the traditional association of the women’ figures to motherhood as sweetness.
In today’s world where many of the traumas in our psyche are reconnected to our parents’ (and especially our mothers’) flaws, women suppress the less pleasant parts of their personalities (regrets and frustrations and depressions) to take charge of the wellbeing of their families, and saying a no has to be justified to the child in a proper pedagogical way, otherwise risking of being labelled an unsuitable mother.
Jones portrays women in the act of performing daily motherly duties, not at all responding to a standardized idea of “sweet-mother-looking-after-her-children”, but resulting instead aggressive and dominant. The women depicted look like empty vessel of a supposed concept of motherhood, and they remain a faceless entity, not only for the spectator, but for their children as well.
Observing these pictures you feel compelled to ask yourself at what point being (self)constricted in the role of “sweet and nurturing mother” starts feeling like acting a part, and is not anymore a public affair, but becomes a private one affecting your own family.
A special mention goes to Joni Smith’s composition, “Does god play dice?” The title of the work was already enough for filling me with claustrophobic thoughts.
For this artwork, Joni has assembled a massive stamp kit in which rubber letters are disposed casually around a central part. Her research stretches on the scientific approach, examining the reality governed by chaos, as opposed to the ideal life pursued by men, in which everything is order. Like a child with its toys, if there is something governing our lives, it is probably throwing letters around without any meaning.
Originated by a sense of entrapment, the useless feeling of living life without the real decisional power is aggravated by the take of conscience of the possibility that this power lies in the hands of an entity (chaos) not interested in exercising it with coherence and meritocracy. Chilling, really.
Being brought up within an Anglican environment, Doug Jones processes the fascination he felt for it recreating an impressive installation of mannequins wearing sacred garments.
The lives of the components of The Brotherhood of Saints (BHS), are unrolled in front of our eyes on the hand-stitched twenty-one robes that personify each participant of the association. The details on their lives, beliefs, sexual vices present a powerful displays of sacred entwined with mortality and consumerism, a display that is fictional in its set up but painfully oh-so -real in its contents.