Parts of Some Quartet, Fruits
March 24, 2018–May 6, 2018
Reception: Saturday, March 24, 6–9pm
Jenna Westra uses the body to reimagine The Set as a framework that activates the performers within it, transforming accidental or chance movements into intentional, choreographed actions for the camera. Taking aesthetic cues from performance documentation, her work invites the viewer to re-examine their role and active participation in image consumption.
Relying on the fundamental, immanent traits of analog photography, Westra exploits the formal elements of the medium to create delicate and subtle compositions extracted from the intentional events she creates. A quartet of non professional models and fruit props fill photographs suggesting moments of intimacy and play, while also reminding us of the ongoing negotiation and exchange present in the acts of performing, directing, documenting.
Made in conjunction with the new photographs, Lubov will present a new 16mm film as part of the exhibition. In this alternate format, Westra applies her compositional devices to filmmaking through the introduction of a temporal element, releasing the subjects from the deadpan tone of her still images. This durational component reveals a partial experience of what happens in front of her camera.
The photographs of Parts of Some Quartet, Fruits become a constellation of seemingly separate events, a facade achieved through the use of various lighting techniques and multiple colored backdrops. Meticulous cropping, selecting, and rotating are tools that join a structural narrative together with a loosely held emphasis on the physical traits of photographic media. An anxiety surrounding what it means to both be observed and to be complicit in an an act of observation is pervasive. If pointing a camera is an expression of desire, is it also inherently an act of exercising power? If so, it is our collective responsibility to reclaim the pleasure of looking.
Jenna Westra (Hunter MFA '15) is a New York based artist working in photography and film. She has exhibited in New York at Hercules, Lubov, Thomas Hunter Projects, Underdonk and Silver Projects (solo), in Los Angeles at Tiger Strikes Asteroid, and in Boston at The Institute for Contemporary Art and Gallery Kayafas, among others. Her work has been published or reviewed in the New York Times, The Boston Globe, Camera Austria, Nicotine Magazine, Papersafe, Bomb Magazine, and Hunted, a series of booklets produced by the Artists' Institute. Most recently, Hassla published a book of her work, Atlas, presented at NADA New York 2018 along with a selection of new photographs. She will present a solo exhibition at fourseasons Berlin in June 2018. Jenna is currently artist-in-residence at HerculesArt/Studio Program.