Jaeden Paige Blewett
My practice investigates notions of site-responsive spaces, the object, and associative politics. While analyzing themes found in Minimalism I draw a comparison between past and present forms of representation, specifically critiquing histories of female-identified representation and male-dominated positions of authority.
I reference the confines of Minimalism through the use of geometric forms, repetition, and a focus on materiality. I seek to expose space, power, and control, through the reorganization of ergonomics, making space for dysfunction and drawing attention toward cultural, political, and social function. Exploring the hidden labors of the female leads me to ideas of process and conceptual art, in contrast, as a reaction to the presence of male domination within architecture, public and private institutions. My interruption of these spaces functions through the action of a female body performing labor in order to disrupt the male hierarchies that is embedded within the confines of the site. I use these understandings to question physical space and the structures that house them. I promote a sense of unease through the subversion of function.
Labor endurance works reveal a struggle when faced with a patriarchal system that is predominantly male directed. While investigating areas of unease and exposing elements of failure and malfunction, my practice shifts between the site-specific and the site- responsive; it engages with a variety of methods that promote social and politic critique. Works often begin with the re-articulation of physical elements in a given site to bring attention to ideas of structure, support systems, and existing architecture.
Fundamentally, my re-organization of materials and sites is a device for questioning the politics of place, and the bodies that inhabit them. Through the process of intervention, I seek to exhibit physical re-organization of a specific site as to further which questions, destabilizes, and disrupts function as a social critique.
17 epi (ends per inch) is a labor endurance work exhibiting the hidden labors of the female. Referencing Minimalism through the use of geometric form and materiality, 17 epi refrains from disclosing all labors endeavors in order to become present at the site. What is unseen is 40 hours at the loom spent to produce this 8"x8" drywall patch, as well as the creation of the hole at the site in order to expose the substructure in order to create a space to insert the intervention. The use of material and process speaks to histories of woman labor and its undervalue for centuries. The unseen physical labor is used to promote a social and political critique.
"139a" consists of 18 u-bend fluorescent lights installed alongside a structural pillar, in a classroom at AUArts. Guided by the fragility of the light bulbs, the work creates a physical barrier, that signals to the anxiety provoked by this site specifically. I consider the longevity of the “performance,” Through the use of the multiple and repetition, I consider the relation to the exclusivity of Minimalism and the relationship to higher education in a predominantly male associated department historically in contrast to performance art in that era, focusing on the feminine body, interjecting an opposing idea. In doing so, the viewer is asked become aware of their body in this space.
2hr @ is comprised of two projects, both site-specific as well as site-responsive. Collection highlights a reaction to space and areas of tension and unease. Located in the downtown core of Calgary. The use of cinderblocks enabled a comment on strength, as well as reflected the architectural components that made up the space being explored. Further to this, cinderblocks were used to create a direct tie to Minimalism, while alluding to Donald Judd’s Untitled (1980). In order to bring attention to the hidden labor and presence of female body/artist in this performance, it was necessary to both physically prepare for these works in order to further highlight these struggles as a female in a male-dominated environment.
access to power @ the risk of self
This performance captures an attempt at accessing power as a female at the risk of losing myself. Work consists of an installation in which outlets were installed alongside working power sources, in order to attempt to create a power source where others already exist. The performance captures myself removing an outlet and by using a thread, try to access this power by attaching it to my body, in hopes of reclaiming my own power. Now that the outlet is removed and no longer exuding power, must I assimilate to access power much like the other outlets?
am made of water of course i am emotional
Investigates themes of unease, failure, and malfunction which actively converses with the specific space. The found crystal chandelier attached to plexiglass, a physical barrier, signaling to the glass ceiling sociology which is then disrupted as watercourses through the light fixture. Thus, subverting function and alluding to dysfunction on the level above. The water pools below, inevitably compromising the structural integrity of the foundation. The installation brings attention to the functions above the viewer, demonstrating how external factors create consequences on the environment of the viewer while promoting a social and political critique.
nostalgia of a place ive never been
Based on a location I have never been to, this labor-intensive work reflects my conflict of a place I have not experienced. It demonstrates ideas of expectation vs reality of memories that are shared but my own. Sharing this common space and time with those family and friends that is Nova Scotia. I interject myself into this place of memories by adding onto the original image which is shown by the yellow rectangle in the "sky" that is not fully attached to the body of the image as a way to participate in the memories I am not filled with.
sealed HVAC vent interrupting 2 rooms at AUArts
Utilizing two critique rooms at AUArts that are designated to emulate a gallery by the white walls and polished concrete floors in order to draw a connection between the confines expressed in these areas. The two rooms share a wall. In order to disrupt both spaces at the same time, I installed HVAC piping on either side of the shared wall to question systems of organization and disruptions within society. The piece works to disrupt and reorganize one's surroundings in order to provoke questions on modes of navigation to promote social and political critique on how these spaces have been highly non-representative of minorities, specifically regarding females