78. Michele Jaquis: We are Here, Together
June 1-June 30, 2021
online

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We are Here, Together employs language in multiple manifestations. Some of the slogan-like phrases are painted, drawn on paper, embroidered on canvas, traced. The language is full of floating or empty signifiers: words such as I, you, your, we, here, are highly variable and mean different things to different people. Moreover, there are languages we may not understand, but we do recognize their written appearance: Spanish, Yiddish, Arabic, Japanese, Hebrew.

 

One particular piece, We Are Not Your Pawns, consists of language in English and Hebrew on fabric embroidered with the unraveled yarn from a sweater knit by the artist’s great grandmother. The yarn and canvas are the same color and tonality, emphasizing the need for the statement when people feel unseen or unconsidered. What remains of the light brown sweater is also exhibited. A “yarn” is also a story, and Jaquis makes full use of the associations of weaving, knitting, and embroidery for women to express and pass on their histories through their labor.

 

Here the act of reading is not neutral (e.g. in a book) but linked to specific visual form and material.  It is through this complexity that the artist makes full use of the semantic, historical and political manifestations of language and heritage highlighting the multiple identifications of each of us and urging the viewer to consider our position vis-a-vis here, and together.

 

See more of Michele Jaquis’s work here: http://www.michelejaquis.com

 

 

Contact: Annetta Kapon akapon@otis.edu