Participating artists: Anna Rose, Joshua Unikel, Megan James Goodman, Ré Philips
This October, the WOC Online Artist Residency was hosting four international artists -Anna Rose, Joshua Unikel, Megan James Goodman, Ré Philips. Below you can see their latest works created during the month in the virtual art program.
Below you can learn more about the participating artists and the works they created as a part of the program.
”My work spans video, installation, photography and sculpture with a sensibility towards the relationship between body, space and ritual, entering into conversation with cultural mythologies of place. Through the familiar materials of our daily actions related to play, to nourishment and consumption, or to the conventions of beauty, for example, my work often addresses the concept of the vanitas and the passage of time. Often starting from a single familiar object, such as an egg, a braid, a piece of fruit or a ball, I reassign or reframe its common use to call into question the cultural mythologies embedded within them. Employing the repetition of a gesture, the tropes of consumer culture, or the heightened tactile or sensorial quality of a material, my work destabilizes the familiar, directing our attention to the embedded and often problematic cultural weight it carries. ”
www.annamrose.com / @annamerylrose
Bread and Butter / Organizing My Eggs
Over the course of the World of Co Residency, I expanded two ongoing projects, the photographic series Organizing My Eggs and the installation Bread and Butter. Both projects, which began during the COVID19 pandemic, draw on the symbolic weight of food as a source of nourishment, as an indication of vitality, and as a reminder of the passage of time.
Drawing on the egg’s physical characteristic of fragility as well as its role as a protective container, these images in Organizing My Eggs supplant the familiar symbolic association with fertility, sanctity and the female body. Likewise, Bread and Butter tests the physical qualities of soft, white processed bread, hardening it with a plastic medium in order to allow it to fall into new forms that suggest erosion, exhaustion or aging.
Shifted to perform new roles and gestures, the eggs, fruit and bread become hybrid forms, each the ingredients and recipes of a still life, intrinsically linked their inevitable decay.
Megan James Goodman
Megan James Goodman is a British-American multidisciplinary artist working in photography, collage and painting, most recently producing collage-like and assemblage-like photographs. Her work addresses our 21st century collective, disconnected relationship to land and weather, spotlighting man-made disasters, the manufactured material world, and ultimately climate-altering human activity, which is and will continue to initiate climate and environmental migration. Inspired by her background in archaeological illustration, she explores the ideology of land as a cultural artifact, provoking distinction of patriotism versus heritage. The pieces expose the spectrum of disturbed visuality versus aesthetic equilibrium. With an investigatory attitude, assembled fragments unite to attempt a drawn connection. Her work has been exhibited in Southern California, Berlin and Amsterdam.
Manufractured Weather Paintings
The digital collages originate as a collection of paintings, drawings or found/sculpted objects inspired by the visuals of radar imagery and weather depiction charts. These originals are then photographed and warped during the process of photographing and many of those photos are contorted further, being photographed through a computer screen. This heavily involved process primarily emulates the many layers of disconnection between ourselves and the natural world. Second, the works are an investigation into the chemical manufacturing processes which occur in food, household products, and the man-made material world fabricated around us. There exists a growing collective awareness of the destruction to both land and body caused by production processes, exposure, and disposal waste.
Weather radar graphics are like paintings presented in neon colors like warning symbols for approaching threats. Society relies on this data and digital renderings of day-to-day weather, which are used to prepare for short-term future occurrences. Yet the data on climate change is not being acted upon with the same magnitude as the effects it is creating and will continue to create. Mesmerizing and beautiful, these artworks lure us in until the warning symbols that they are, are discovered.
A recurring subject matter throughout the series is rust, appearing in the crevices of the artworks as rust does on metal man-made structures. I highlight this chemical reaction, which, normalized as it is, illuminates the unnatural process of extracting metal with rust being the consequence of being exposed to oxygen. This simple reaction mirrors the friction between human manufacturing activity and the man-made material world with natural processes and materials.
Joshua Unikel works at the intersection of graphic design and creative writing. He has shown at Dubai Art Week 2020 (United Arab Emirates); Sofia Art Week 2019 (Bulgaria); CICA Museum (S Korea); Griffith University Art Gallery (Australia); Aether Gallery (Bulgaria); The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit; DesignPhiladelphia; the Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts; the Oklahoma State Museum of Art; the Center for Contemporary Printmaking (US) and the Institute of Contemporary Art at MECA (US). He is the co-editor of No Quo Attempts (DesignInquiry Press, 2016) and Beyond Category (HWS Press, 2014). He is an assistant professor in the University of Houston’s School of Art (US).
Of Absence and Evidence
Of Absence and Evidence grapples with what it means for people and history to be erased. During World War II, nearly ninety percent of the 65,000+ Greek Jews were killed under Nazi occupation. Before the war, Greek Jews were the second largest minority in Greece. This history, however, has gone largely untold. It’s frequently omitted and often erased completely. It’s a part of a centuries-old history of Greek Jews that dates back to Classical Antiquity.
This print series and artist book explores how genocide and historic erasures resist aesthetic depiction but also demand to be seen. This work examines how the past can and likely should haunt the present.
Using archival photographs and abstracted maps from Gilbert’s The Atlas of the Holocaust, this work focuses on Cretan Jews. Cretan Jews were one of the last communities of Greek Jews ordered by the Nazis to go to Auschwitz. En route, the Nazi ship transporting them was sunk by the Allies, who were ordered to fire on any boat leaving Nazi-occupied Crete. The entire community of Cretan Jews on board died. Only seven Cretan Jews evaded capture and survived the war in hiding.
Based on the philosophic idea that “Absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence,” this series attempts to bring both evidence of past horrors and its many conspicuous absences to the surface.
“I started the first quarter of the year creating masks- African masks steeped in the traditions of a deterritorialized, diasporic experience of Africa.
Now I am spending the end of the year thinking about masks- the ones we use daily and globally during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.”
i/we can’t breathe
“I chose to spend my residency visualizing the unique struggles that have befallen us in 2020– two notable struggles under a common respiratory theme: the covid-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement marked by the “I can’t breathe” slogan.
In my clay piece, I contemplated the mask as an object that will go on to hold historical significance and meaning in remembrance of these times. At the onset, the virus was merciless and seemed to eliminate anyone weak enough in its path. The Black community comprised a large percentage of essential workers, the engine of America that makes it go; and soon enough, the virus grew to enjoy feeding on the comorbidities hyper exposed by the necessity of (overwhelmingly) Black labor.
In my abstract figurative drawings, I attempted to capture the double tragedy faced by African-Americans in 2020. In March, the lungs of America began collapsing and none of us could breathe, and the covid death differential disproportionately affected the Black community. Meanwhile, in June another respiratory issue surfaced when a man called George Floyd was suffocated at the knee of a Minnesota policeman. The open mouths and wide-alert eyes of the figures capture the panic, anxiety, and dual suffocation brought on by the covid-19 pandemic and racial pandemonium. The shades of blue allude to the overtone of sadness the tragedy of suffocating not once, but twice.”