Feel it all around
University of Wisconsin--Stout. Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
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The invisible river that is culture flows unaware of itself. It has borders, but no form. Social currents are ever-changing and continually moving downstream. Everything that participates in culture is subjected to the pull of the current. One may float with no effort and never know of the river itself. When one is standing and not moving with the current, it breaks away from previous passivity. One no longer takes part in the movement of the river and the flow of culture. Undoubtedly, submitting to the flow of the river makes culture feel truer. However, when one stands against the current, there is heavy resistance. From that, clarity of previously practiced culture becomes blurred. As the river moves, the shoreline remains static. One may match the movement or stillness of their surroundings. The visual stillness in contrast to the ever-moving pull of culture is what I create in my work. I create yarn-based installations that envelop the gallery. The yarn is suspended to create parabolas. These strands are fixed in space by gravity. The pull of gravity highlights the stillness of the yarn as it submits to the phenomenon outside of itself. The tension between the invisible force and the visual resistance is the essence of the work. Cultural pressures have the potential to be felt by the viewer and reflected on. The joining of visual weight and physical stillness creates the awareness of one’s own place in the continual current. The installations produce a sense of detriment while maintaining an elegance. In this experience, I hope the viewer sees oneself in a grander context of one’s surroundings. For the viewer to stand up in the river and see outside oneself in culture. May one see the river and feel its pull. When still, everything outside of culture becomes clear. This is when the otherness is experienced, the shoreline is seen clearly. These short moments are the sublime. From this, an individual experience of clarity can be achieved. That experience of standing against the current is necessary to better understand the importance of individuality in a communal context. It is a call to find ourselves in the chaos of the river. The quick realizations from these moments are unique to all who experience them. Through my work, these ideas can be manifested. The cultural river continually moves and is ever-present. Installations mimic these feelings through form so discovery and navigation of oneself are possible. The visibility of the work is a way to access the invisible and understand the world through a sharable lens. The presentation of resistance allows one to reflect on the way of being and have a deeper understanding of clarity hidden around us. The world is always clear. It is us floating in the river.
LeClaire, J. (2021). Feel it all around. University of Wisconsin-Stout Journal of Student Research, 19, 129-133.