September 30, 2016-October 2, 2016, All DayHosted by jehdyvargas at 1013 Grand Street
Young New York artist Jehdy Vargas creates a unique way of linking the past with the present even as it is being experienced in her head. This process allows her to relieve the moment in a purging process of transformation. Sometimes acting as a therapeutic process. Past and present meet everywhere in a person’s mind most notably geographically and more importantly emotionally. Both are equally appropriate beginnings for Jehdy’s body of work.
Jehdy has always taken a journalistic approach to her work. Her process is composed of shooting, printing, pasting, painting, scanning, paining and repeating until the primary mechanic image is lost. Sometimes, replacing the traditional canvas, there is a necessity to incorporate found objects to carry the picture. Through this process she examines and re-creates past and present. Using photography as an object to create art that exemplifies transfiguration. Past and present experiences take on a new physical form.
Jehdy recently completed a 5 month residency at Mana Contemporary Art center provided through Martin and Lorraine Kaminsky studio program. She has participated in many group shows including: ESKFF 2×2 Exhibition at Mana Contemporary, ESKFF Paddel 8 auction exhibited at Mana Contemporary, booth exhibition at Made In America’s Artist and Culture Village in Philadelphia, The All Female Last Brucennial’s exhibited through Bruce High Quality and Vito Schnabel in New York City, Brooklyn Museum’s Go Open Studios, and Sound of Art Group show at Heath Gallery in Harlem.
My #BlueVelvetHumiliation series is my body of work connected to Santeria a syncretic religion my grandmother used to practice in Dominican Republic where I grew up and spent all of my summers if I wasn’t in the Bronx. I am using Santeria in my installation of video, paintings, sculptures, and life size voodoo dolls to tell narrative confessional stories about what I saw as a child but also as a way to connect others to my experiences of Santeria with love, estrangement, adversity and loss and most of all incorporating the Internet that everyone can relate to. It is autobiographical/ethnographic work but at the same time a way for me to be critical about what I saw as child growing up in which I feel has influenced me in my studio practice.
#VirtualCold is a document of the artist’s existence within the bounds of socioeconomic determinism. 2. A re-hashing of the mediated world and then relayed into a project. 3. An interpretation and investigation into the artist’s im(mediate)e reality. 4. The sense that one’s life operates as a portable living theater. 5. The playfulness of the artist’s holy thought pattern taking place within the theater of a capitalist economy. 6. A ridiculous uncertainty of subjectivity in a piece due to post-structuralist critiques of the “first-person subject”. 7. A sense of attempting to re-claim subjectivity in art which can be viewed as also a gesture towards claiming one’s subjectivity in a mediated reality. 8. A genuine sense of love for human expression in varying art forms no matter how commercial, avant-grade, ironic, kitsch, sincere or endearing. 9. Actively or passively participating in a re-thinking of love, possibilities for love, or learning about love through our heroes whoever they might be. 10. Feeling caught between emotion and technology as though they are opposing entities.
A problem of the theater is a problem with a heightened and diluted mediated reality offering us an insane amount of ways of how to live, think, eat, sleep, dress, etc. The theater, after all, is a diluted mediated reality in itself inasmuch as reality is a perpetual theater where a small percentage of endless billions of moments have the chance of ever being recorded, distorted, animated, archived, and distributed by various ever-evolving old and new medias; consider the wonders of video sharing sites like Youtube or Vimeo. One can’t help but cry out to Echo and Narcissus for remarks on mimesis with regard to market-driven advertising in its agenda to sculpt public and private identities.
The body itself begins as the most reliable site for an ongoing survival in that it is through the body alone that existence thought and articulation occurs. The body is where the traffic of information (manipulated or true) flows through; a digestion of various kinds of information passing through the person who decides what to do with it or how to incorporate it into his/her own daily theater by re-mixing, directing, and producing words on a page while staying close to a mysterious force that keeps the theater from shutting down in a network of multiple theaters.
If anyone has looked at a visualization of the various routes of a portion of the Internet, one will see that it uncannily resembles a neural network of the brain–and for no goddamn reason. Artaud told us the world is killing and devouring us. But today, the world is much bigger and smaller and the thing which binds and unites us globally is evolving old and new medias and communication which itself is also the very thing that is killing us, robbing the soul from the body, leaving us out in the #VirtualCold if we can not keep up with what is new. Imagine a world just like this, because itʼs the exact same one we live in. Unlike Artaud and Marinetti who relentlessly believed theater can heal the ills of society, it is no longer applicable–their achievements simultaneously succeeded and failed like day and night.
And yet, this is the real world we live in scrounging up change, bills, and loans to make it to the next place for some peace of sanity as though the theater has no exit doors just endless space crowded with the effects of socioeconomic circumstance, real-time, telecommunication, destiny, chance, objects, imagination and the list goes on like a game of mad-libs. All the while, catastrophic earthquakes worldwide, the highest death rate of starvation known to humankind, growing shortages of clean water, etc. etc. etc.–online or print the swift stroke of such catastrophes while we manage to stay on the fringes, viewing it from afar while remaining content and wading in the waters of a purely visual and audio-based relay of information as though all of it were a dream.
The task of the artist is not to blindly reject the ideologies of a mediated society but to be informed by it so as to never stop challenging the multiple “authors” which design and set up the very narratives of product advertising.
If we can survive in this theater then there is no telling what is possible on the vaster plane of existence outside of art, if, such an outside is even possible for us just as there seems no way out of the theater of daily living.
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