Day 11 > Jen Morris & Emily Anderson

watch video

Our work calls attention to processes of cultural translation and transmission through time and space. We want to test the strength of the fibers of cultural memory that tug our heartstrings with the distinctly different gravitational pulls of shared, personal nostalgia (lime Skittles) or cultural history (the proliferous Greek goddess Artemis). Using “brand-name” objects and narratives, we work to renew our Western cultural traditions by using them to illuminate ethico-political problems in the present moment.

With the integration of video, performance, sound, sculpture, and writing we– Emily Anderson, a writer, and Jen Morris, a photography and video based artist– combine our individual practices to create work that draws from a variety of traditions and disciplines. Our focus on translation, and our range from the very concrete to the highly abstract, allows us to explore expanding and contracting definitions of home, and the politics of deciding what does—and doesn’t—feel like home.

Ancient performers of Homeric poetry were called rhapsodes; the word derives from the Greek “to sew together a song.” We sew together a variety of media and Western histories to reconsider food-products as culture and to examine their relationship to notions of home, place, and global flows of food resources, people, and pollution. As we follow the warp and weft of cultural and literary history, we stop to notice the places where the threads fray and snap, focusing on the ways that food has become severed from its origin via corporatized production and alteration.

EMILY ANDERSON‘s writing has appeared in a variety of publications including Harper’s, The Atlantic, Conjunctions, the Kenyon Review, Fence, the Broadview Anthology of Short Fiction and Best American Experimental Writing 2015. Her book, Little:Novels (Blaze VOX Books 2015), erases each of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House novels.

Emily holds an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MA from Bucknell University. She recently received her doctorate in English from the University at Buffalo.

JEN MORRIS‘s studio practice explores semiotics through photography and video. She questions personal and public spheres of memory and dominant power structures, as well as how these spaces intersect. Among other locations, her work has been exhibited in Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Helsinki, Finland; Montréal, Canada; Pittsburgh, PA; and Valencia, Spain.

Morris received her BFA with honors from Carnegie Mellon University in 1998, and her MFA in 2006 from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as a Merit Scholar, Weinstein Memorial Fellowship recipient, and Graduating Fellowship awardee. She is now an Associate Professor of Art at Landmark College in Putney, Vermont, and an Artist Teacher with the Vermont College of Fine Arts in Montpelier, Vermont.

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