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ROOM

2022

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A discussion of what the purpose of a room is without physical presence, after the last traces of humanity have begun to fade.

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- Jena Gregory 
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What's it about?

After being introduced to our new project, ‘Another Space’; themes of presence in absence and the human body, as well as looking to the future of humanity, and it’s potential self-destruction as a species became my focus and objective to project. I was initially influenced by the work of Gregor Schneider, particularly his “Haus u r” exhibition, whose constructed rooms produce an eerie atmosphere, evoking senses of derealisation, disorientation and leading the viewer to question their own reality. I found the simplicity of these rooms compelling, since they were able to create such a strong sense of discomfort despite their lack of subject matter inside, which would usually be present to indicate presence or signs of life. Therefore, the emptiness of these rooms made me question what the purpose of a room is without human life, whether that is to protect or conceal.

Considerations of what could remain to indicate a previous presence of humanity in order to emphasise a reflection on the past was influenced by the notion of nostalgia, particularly colours that were nostalgic to me. Creams proved to be the most influential, due to their vintage, aging/worn connotations, as well as my exposure to them at a young age in the forms of early advances in computer technology such as CRTs and Macintoshes. The same goes for objects/patterns/textures that emitted a language of construction, or in fact deconstruction (I.e., rough, chalky, flaky textures – to suggest deterioration of a substance, or destruction under force such as concrete and the rubble of destroyed buildings,). All of these elements were influential for me to suggest how an absence of humanity (or presence) could be portrayed.

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Perhaps once humanity is gone, a room may start to lose its purpose, until its definition is unclear.

- Jena Gregory 

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The influence and significance of a human presence/absence in a room was explored through a series of paintings, until I had identified what elements I thought were effective in conveying my themes and why. To execute this, I created a video piece consisting of painting, model-building, photography, projection and audio. My focus in all mediums was the idea of adding elements and taking them away from the piece, but leaving some kind of a mark to indicate that there has been some being or force, which to me represents the impact of humanity on our surroundings. I wanted to suggest a previous presence or life (humans or not) that has had an impact on these surroundings, leading them to deteriorate. Perhaps once humanity is gone, a room may start to lose its purpose, until its definition is unclear. The balance between familiarity and eeriness is effective in creating the sense of uneasiness, as well as asking the bigger question of the significance of presence, as we are used to seeing chairs associated with humans, so without any signs of human presence, the chair, just as the walls that surround it (seemingly) lose purpose. This piece is therefore the discussion of what a room is without physical presence, after the last traces of humanity have begun to fade.

References:
  • Schneider, G. (1985). Haus u r. [Installation].

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