jennifer danos l statement
“[To cause a] rupture of our surroundings and call into question the manner in which we locate ourselves visually, subjectively, contextually... evaluate and criticize ourselves and our relation to space.” Olafur Eliasson
My sculptural interventions exploit the human instinct to filter experience. Our constructed environment contains myriad cues that consciously and subconsciously affect how we think about, feel about, and interact with a given site. A person enters a space and intuitively chooses which details to interact with or neglect. Intuition is not a mysterious sense, but a learned behavior through repeated experiences. I am interested in this cognitive process and finding ways to offer opportunities to more intentionally shape our intuitive response, thus increasing our sensitivity when encountering an environment.
By calling attention to material qualities that are likely to be missed through this filtering, my work subverts the expectedness of private and public spaces. Entering my installation, one is confronted with elements that are familiar, but most likely outside of typical notice: those things in the periphery that one is conditioned to look past when entering a particular environment. I take advantage of architectural details that are physically evidenced through different activities: from construction, to human use (proper and improper), to care and repair. Or sometimes these details are the product of chance. Each artwork is made for a specific space, addressing the subtle features in the physical site. For example, I have re-created debris that accumulates on windowsills, re-imagined patterns made in the process of constructing building surfaces, and re-presented throw-away objects left behind in a given space.
I am concerned with how these subtle cues can aid in, disrupt, or hopefully form our instinctive decision-making. In addition to all of the effects of the physical cues, we bring our own personal history to the space, which further complicates our interpretations and subsequent behavior because of our individually biased expectations and assumptions. This is where the everyday collides with the aesthetic experience. These interventions serve as metaphors for larger experiences concerning the blurred boundary between seemingly incongruent categories: natural and artificial, accidental and intentional, real and perceived. The demarcation between elements, such as between objects and surfaces, or features that “belong” and do not belong, becomes flexible, malleable, un-fixed from traditional rules. Ultimately, I want to engage the conscious and subconscious nature of observation to encourage individuals to actively see each space by questioning the constructed intentions of the space and reconsidering habits and definitions.