Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Sienese Shedder: Hammond

The Sienese Shredder as a whole was a bit too scattered brained for me to wrap my head around. The scheme was random and threw me off from one page to the next. I did not enjoy most of the non-visual poetry scattered between dense prose pieces. My absolute favorite “chapter” of the entire collection were Jane Hammond’s paintings (108-121). I know that Hammond was influenced by and collaborated with John Ashberry, another contributor to this collection, and I believe that there are a decent amount of similarity in their works presented in this book. Both artists are displacing objects, faces, animals etc. to reconstruct the meaning of the context in which they are placed and essentially destroy its original meaning. She disembodies the meaning of something as simple as the classic century old maps, the ones with sea serpents and sirens drawn for atheistic appeal. She replaces the serpents and sirens with a boyscotts tent, racing swimmers, a beaded necklace, an igloo and all sorts of interesting depictions of modernity. The title of the piece “A Parliament of Refrigerator Magnets” leads the reader to believe that these images are copies of refrigerator magnets painted strategically to create an ironic map of random, somewhat, “contemporary” images to disembody the “classic” map of its meaning and identify it with a new “modern” meaning to apply to contemporary life. Much of her other work applies the same disembodiment/ironic/comical aspects of displacing photos onto other photos to create new meaning and create a dialogue of social commentary such as her piece “Midwife to Gargoyles”. The faces of gargoyles replace that of a typical 50s looking America family. In short her contribution to The Sienese Shredder was amazing