WHOSE SLEEVES: A Group Show
Artworks arranged by: Peter Mandradjieff
Visual Artists: Bianca Beck, Jenn Nagel Myers, Leah Patgorski, Amelia Saddington
Response: Craig Fox (essay), Cate Peebles (poem)
The genre of Japanese painting Tagasode Byobu (Whose sleeves?) depicts elegant fabrics draped on wooden clothing racks. The phrase, which comes from a tenth century Japanese poem, suggests the notion that an individual's personal effects project a more telling portrait than a lifelike depiction. Painted on the panels of folding screens, the viewer is invited to dream about what sort of person the owner might be. Who was just wearing these silks? Where did they go, and why? The suggestive genre seduces - and these art works seduce us, too, but in a way that engages us with intention and emotion.
Through familiar forms, these diverse art works connect us to psychological states and ask us to consider our relationship to personal and political identity, social isolation, ecological destruction, and gender roles. Texture, color, sound, and raw material create mood, scale and a heightened awareness of physicality. Everyday domestic actions, such as digging, sewing, painting, and sitting, are employed by the artists to create unique and powerful narratives within their work. These evocative objects tell compelling stories and elicit emotional reactions that urge us to realign our intellectual questions and experience a refreshed exploration of values, ideals, and love.