Jana Charl


Tables, Chandeliers, and Selfies

Tables, Chandeliers, and Selfies

FAENA ART PRIZE, BUENOS AIRES: Proposal submitted August 2016

My creative practice involves exploring different media and techniques around testing the boundaries of what defines contemporary art, including the blurring of the traditional lines dividing craft, commercial art, and fine art. I am a passionate storyteller inspired by the raw materials, experiences, and observations that I collect. By appropriating the inherent histories of found objects, I add layers of meaning and humor. Serendipitous discoveries in a scrap pile are welded into sculptures; digitally output elements are woven into acrylic paintings.

As the scene for this story, I visualize the Sala Molinos as a dining room from the early 1900s era, furnished with tables, chandeliers, and portraits. It is a space animated by lively conversations about art. Tables, Chandeliers, and Selfies contemporizes this setting with installations and mixed media art which are incongruous with one's expectations; created to heighten the awareness of one's experience in the moment, to stimulate an intuitive contemplation of time, la durée.

17.5 km away, 23 minutes by car, is Argentina's largest cattle market, Mercado de Liniers. Another 10,836 km away, 18 hours by plane, is one of Oregon's largest ranch holdings in Madras. Moving discarded and decaying cattle bale feeders and barbed wire spools from Hay Creek Ranch to the context of Faena Art Center, installed as "tables" and "chandeliers," allows for the re-examination of their perceived life. As a consequence, the intended, predicted outcome is no longer relegated to the past; thereby demonstrating the indeterminate nature of duration as continuous, heterogeneous time.

Any attempt to capture a moment in time is already obsolete, as the moment passes instantaneously. Completing the environment is a series of "selfies." The phenomenon of the selfie is an expression to isolate a frame of time. Canvas is painted in Los Angeles; giclée canvas prints are made in Buenos Aires and woven into the paintings. In order to suggest that the continuity of real time is not evenly divisible, they are spaced intermittently on the wall.

Tables that are cattle bale feeders, chandeliers that are barbed wire spools, and portraits that are headless selfies, are ultimately conceived of so that the viewer can exercise his/her imagination.

After all:

Duration is ineffable and can only be shown indirectly through images that can never reveal a complete picture. It can only be grasped through a simple intuition of the imagination. – Henri Bergson