Graduate Alumni Work > Advanced Fiber Studio (Highlights)

Jamie Keesling (Fall 2007 and Spring 2008)
Jamie Keesling (Fall 2007 and Spring 2008)
"Untitled (fish II)"
various fabrics, stuffing, wire, vinyl
2008

The death of a fish is both tragic and necessary. It invokes sadness as well as ambivalence. Invincible in the face of prolonged time underwater, the fish meets mortality in the open air. She is yanked from her dark, cool sanctuary into the dry burning above and driven to panic, gasping and flailing in vain on some hard deck. Her plight does not inspire empathy from her human captors, so easily distressed by the pain of their mammalian peers. The alien eyes and metallic luster of the fish distances her from any body her predators would shed a tear for. She lacks the limbs they've evolved. When hooked, she does not bleed. Size as well works against her, barely as big as the foot that pins her down, as a giant hand with digits agile and unwebbed, unpierces her trembling lip.

Through my work I question commonly held conceptions of everyday topics by portraying them in a different light. I am interested in examining a wide variety of contemporary phenomena, from what it means to kill a fish, to wastefulness and recycling, to feelings of security in the home. I explore dualities present in these topics, combining through material and process opposing qualities such as light and dark, funny and tragic, life and death, the stupid and the deadly serious. These works are the product of a re-examination of the meaning and purpose of everyday acts and perceptions.