RAIR | 2016-17
Andrea Jespersen | London, England
Andrea Jespersen is a graduate of the Royal College of Art (England) and Glasgow School of Art (Scotland). Her practice and research focuses on art grounded in conceptual considerations that incorporate time-consuming handmade methods. Female conceptual art practices that rely on the 'cerebral handmade' are further defined by the artist in the PhD 'Mind Circles: on conceptual deliberation−Hanne Darboven and the trace of the artist's hand.
Andrea's latest project, relating to notions of healing, began with a two-year period as guest curator at Medical Museion in Copenhagen (Denmark). It is an extensive project that consists of a publication with eleven interdisciplinary contributors, collaborative public events with two scientists and a trilogy of separate solo exhibitions; 'Human Silver Halo' at Medical Museion (Copenhagen), 'Mind Circles' at BALTIC’s project room (Newcastle upon Tyne, England), and 'part of the equation' at Angus-Hughes Gallery (London). The large-scale analogue silver gelatin prints, which featured in the shows, were made during an artist residency at the Danish Art Workshops in Copenhagen (Denmark).
For documentation and further information on Andrea's work, including her writing and an extended exhibition record, visit – www.jespersen.co.uk
“Essentially, the cerebral is at the core of my art practice. Tethered to my interdisciplinary activities and collaborations is a regular reliance on slow handmade processes. I consciously use a diverse collection of materials, techniques and mediums that are chosen to sustain the idea of a given project. My exhibited artworks morph into aesthetic constellations – ghosts pivoting on a concern with the restricted kinds of knowledge society generally appears to value. During my twelve-months as Roswell Artist-in-Residence I will work with (and against) drawing, to further explore the possibilities of the handmade's collaboration with the conceptual.”
Roswell Museum and Art Center
Rair exhibition • Andrea Jespersen "Grasping the Air of Not (yet) Knowing" July 29 - September 10, 2017
Grasping the Air of Not (yet) Knowing is an exhibition that has evolved from a one-sided friendship with the Goddards and in particular with Esther.
Through my research of the RMAC’s impressive Robert Hutchings Goddard collection and its atmospheric exhibit of his recreated rocket workshop, I have been looking out for my new friend Esther. Embodying Virginia Woolf’s looking-glass, she was there, succinctly lending her magic to reflect Robert at his most magnificent and creating his past well into the future. Just as the historian author Hillary Mantel insightfully proclaims in her 2017 Reich Lecture
‘we create the past, we don’t remember it’.
What I admire about the Goddards, was their ability to be for a sustained length of time – years and years – in a mental state of ‘not-knowing’; a place that most people avoid inhabiting. Throughout our education, there is a focus on consistency and knowing ‘the facts’. Socially not knowing is unquestionably seen as a negative, while the human default is swept under the carpet – hiding the fact that what humans do know is far outweighed by what we do not understand. The place where we are all encouraged to exercise our not-knowing muscle and perhaps advance to enjoy the complexity and possibilities of not (yet) knowing, is the arts.
All the artworks in the exhibition were made during my one-year RAiR Fellowship, and New Mexico is to me indeed a land of enchantment, just like it was to the Goddards. Here in Roswell, Robert’s ill health could benefit from the magnificent weather, and his rocket experiments could be executed without any objections. My friend Esther, she too enjoyed the people of Roswell, playing bridge and debating in the book-club. However, most significantly it was right here that Esther Kisk Goddard perfected her expertise as a stills and film photographer. It is her exquisite photographic images that create the past, documenting the scientific rocket research that Robert and his team were undertaking – indeed Esther’s lens and tenacity become stepping stones for better grasping the unknown.
Roswell, New Mexico, July 2017