Somewhere in the Balance
On view November 20th 2015-January 10th 2016
Opening reception: Friday, November 20th 5:30-8:00pm
Artist remarks: Friday, November 20th at 6:00pm
Artist talks with John William Keedy and Sarah Hobbs: Saturday, November 21st at 2pm
HCP presents Somewhere in the Balance, an exhibition featuring four artists each photographing their own constructed environment reflecting their current state of mind. Jisun Choi assembles her anxiety-based fears and stresses, Sarah Hobbs shows how our environments reflect our neuroses, John William Keedy develops a character with an anxiety-based mental illness, and Jennifer Thoreson illuminates the feelings and vulnerability of everyday family life.
Curated by Sarah Sudhoff and Caroline Docwra
Jisun Choi-My Sweet Home
London and Seoul
My work is premised on observations related to humans and it is linked to their uncertain emotions. Human beings are imperfect creatures. We are born with the possibility of being both rational and irrational. The irrational belief about a certain factor can soon become anxiety. As a psychological state of fear or uneasiness, anxiety is common among people who live in this rapidly changing and tremendously competitive modern society. Dealing with various situations in daily life, however, we often find ourselves distressed by causeless anxieties. When such worry becomes excessive, it tends to place us under the influence of mental disorders, so-called phobias, or behavioral habits. In the project, My Sweet Home, I intend to share my experiences and thoughts about mental issues. By photographing myself together with juxtaposed props in the home environment, I depict different types of anxieties that I have become accustomed to in my own private life.
Sarah Hobbs-Emotional Management
A desire to construct psychological space has always been the driving force behind my work. I explore how we come to see ourselves, see others, and how others may see us through our neuroses, calling into question the idea of normal. I examine how our surroundings swirl together with our psyches and couple with the expectations of society to create our psychological outlook.The domestic spaces we create for ourselves can either assuage or exacerbate our inner conflicts. Further, I am examining our attempts to manage our issues ourselves, and the inevitable pitfalls these efforts create. The tension between power and vulnerability in terms of what motivates us as well as what drives our behavior is an important theme in the work as well. There is a delicate balance between how we want to be perceived and how much we can really handle mentally.
John William Keedy-It’s Hardly Noticeable
Its Hardly Noticeable explores the world of a character who navigates living with an unspecified anxiety-based mental illness. He negotiates situation contrasted to highlight the impacts and implications of his difference on his thoughts and behaviors, and by doing so raises questions of normalcy. Through constructed tableaus and metaphorical still life’s, the series reveals the relationship between reality and perception, and highlights issues of pathology while questioning stereotypes of normalcy.
In my work, I revisit themes of human fragility, pain, and eventually, recovery. I am attracted to vulnerability, to peeling back a skin that reveals something precious, dark, and insistently tender. I am compelled by the moments where people are on an edge, barely laced together, befriending disaster, remembering something, or exposing something.
I am curious about how relationships survive, why they dissolve, how people love one another, and how such love is expressed. In this work, I am investigating heavy burdens and how we carry them. I am interested in the spiritual labor of bearing weight, submission, futileness, and persistence.
To create the work, I rented an empty house for a year, and transformed it into a makeshift sanctuary, a freighted space for constructing photographs. I chose this house because it reminds me very much of the house I grew up in. It has a worn-in, gentle quality, and I felt connected to it the moment I walked through the door. In the photographs, each room is styled with sentimental textiles, trinkets, and colors that I remember from my 1980’s childhood home.