Sunday, 13 February 2011

Jessica Harrison

"The things I make are about the body: the body in space, the space within the body and the space in-between the two. The body is something we all share in one shape or form, the filter through which we all experience the world around us and the objects in front of us.

Using film, ink, resin, stone amongst other things found and made, I make objects that seek to examine how we can go beyond the traditional idea of the interior and exterior with some skin in-between, to explore a complex chiasm of surfaces and sensations that relate to and transgress one another. Rather than being a stable entity, the body emerges as one that is in constant flux, shifting, stretching, snapping, softening.

My work is based on physiological, philosophical and psychoanalytical research into the body and its senses, focusing in particular on the role of touch in our experience of objects and in the construction of knowledge; how consciousness and perception are choreographed by the senses and spatial form. This is about a perception beginning with the skin rather then the eye, a perception based on the tactile rather than optical space. Through making and sharing these objects, I am hoping to provoke questions in the observer about how their body fits in to the space around it, how space adapts and changes due to our bodies, how things are filtered and communicated through touch.

The things I make are a complex description of simultaneous unmaking and making, deconstructing an object or a body before putting it back together again – this could be interpreted as a violent process, but is often a very delicate and fragile one, a process of transplantation rather than dislocation. The works are an attempt to change the relationship of the object to the body, making visible the invisible, opening up something normally closed, softening a usually hard surface.

I am exploring the significance of surfaces in our construction of knowledge through making and experimenting, playing on our instincts and assumptions built from an historical optical hierarchy and propensity to touch what catches our attention. Our surfaces do not just act as boundaries between our inside and outside, between ‘us’ and ‘that’, but play the most vital role in our perceptions of the world around us. The objects I make attempt to unpack these perceptions and interrupt these interfaces to bring our assumptions to the surface."

Source: Jessica Harrison

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