back to portfolio

The "attachables" represent half of my MFA exhibition at the State University of New York at New Paltz, 2003. They were presented with the installation "organs of truth, organs of meaning." The overall series, entitled “The Graphic Body,” explores how our systems of knowing change when translated to physical sensation. In this context, our experiences become increasingly corporeal and tactile. I am interested in the imbalance between our internal and external understandings of the world around us, our visceral reactions versus those perceptions which are thought out and informed by the glut of information surrounding us. Within that realm of information, discussions of the body strike me as being simultaneously graphic and vague, our sensory experience of the body blended with our cultural understanding of what a body should be. With this body of work, I aimed to create objects which require the external and the internal to be understood simultaneously, objects which rely on the body to be situated and experienced.

The series of “attachables” are meant to address how objects of adornment may be situated on the body. I am very curious about the human desire to adorn, and feel that western jewelry limits that innate desire to culturally specified zones of wearing: the wrist, the finger, the chest, the ear, the neck. I would like to imagine our zones of wearing as being both as variable and as visceral as aches and pains. To extend the ways in which these pieces might be worn, I constructed them with magnetic attachments. The sections of a piece (halves or thirds) can be magnetically attached to one another through any fold of clothing. The sections can all be worn on the outside of the clothing, or may be broken up so that a part of the image is hidden against the skin. I look for surfaces or finishes which are seductive, attempting to draw the wearer in to the pieces. My hope is that a desire to touch/wear an object of adornment can counter a viewer’s doubts about wearing an object unconventionally. I refer to these pieces as “attachables,” instead of “jewelry,” in an attempt to avoid the immediate impulse to wear these objects merely as brooches. The label is important because I think that unconventionally wearable adornment holds a problematic position in the field of contemporary art jewelry.