Window Onsite is delighted to present new work by Jennifer Mason.
Often using bodies as points of departure for her installation practice, Mason deftly assembles, constructs and fabricates partial objects that slip and slide between the raw biological and the brute mechanical.
Pink silicone skin bears the outlines of objects forced or cast into it, kidney-shapes, soap dishes and other daily utensils.
Pipes and plumbing are evoked and sometimes actually utilized- the physical subterranean and sanitary architecture of cities and the internal organization of people.
Appealing to the mechanics and materiality of bodies there are apertures, connective tissues, vessels, tunnels, skins and membranes. There are also artificial surfaces slick and shiny, synthetically-coloured, hanging freshly skinned from a skeletal steel frame.
Recalling studies of the grotesque by the Russian philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin (1895-1975) there is an emphasis on ‘the open, the penetrative and the lower stratum.’ Similar to Bakhtin, Mason is also invested in the idea that the grotesque body of excess is rebellious to authority and defiantly stubborn in the face of austerity.
Of crucial importance is the idea of the transverse plane of the human body, the way in which something might be sliced in half in order to display its internal layout and the way in which the various parts lie in relation to each other. Anatomical dummies, the virtual slices of CAT scans, sections in histology or slides for microscopes.
The internal is made external as forms or items with an intimate relationship to the body recall the shapes of vital organs. Silicon rings are neatly layered according to colour, a spectrum of white to red imitating the colours of various openings of the body, a penetrative display. Ear-hole, nostril, navel… the shades of the inside and outside of a lip…
And in contrast there is spun aluminium, the unforgiving and somewhat precise stainless steel of medical instruments, surgical equipment and butcher’s tools. Incisions and insertions, clamping and cleaving. There is a progression from a view into the body to flesh as meat, sausages and steaks displayed in shop windows with lurid green starburst price tags. Meat and signs are presented behind glass, in cabinets, inside a window.
Jennifer Mason completed a Post-Graduate Diploma in Fine Arts at the Elam School School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland in 2013. ‘Borborygmus’ a solo exhibition of Mason’s work was recently held in the Mezzanine at Artspace, Auckland and other recent exhibitions include: ‘Size Matters’ (Fuzzy Vibes, Auckland, 2013), ‘New Graduate Works’ (Gus Fisher Gallery, Auckland, 2013) and the 2013 Annual Fine Arts Commission at the Auckland Festival of Photography.