Artist: Jane Weibel
Exhibition: Psycho Cycle
Media: Ceramics, Photography, Metals, Plastics, Various Objects
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery East
About the Artist
I had the pleasure of meeting another up and coming artist from California State University, Long Beach. Her name is Jane Weibel. Jane is a San Diego native, she attended community college down there before transferring to CSULB. At the time she contemplated being a bio major but realized that it wasn’t the right choice for her. She recalls always having a passion for art but never thought of pursuing it. That is until now, Jane is a current undergraduate CSULB student in the School of Art. She is pursuing a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree in Ceramics. After graduating, Jane would like to work in the art world in any capacity. She plans to further her education and will begin to apply for master’s programs in January. Until then she will continue to work on her portfolio.
When Jane has free time she enjoys going out with friends to different Escape Rooms. An Escape room is a physical adventure game that gives the players a limited amount of time to complete the game. Players are locked in a room and have to use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles and escape. Up until now, Jane has been to seven different escape rooms all over Los Angeles.
There is a lot of color in Jane Weibel’s work. Photography is placed under many of the pieces in the exhibition. Two pieces that intrigued me the most in the Psycho Cycle exhibition were the Large cage made out of plastic and the photograph with the bungee cord around the midsection. The large cage is made out of domestic items that are made out of plastics and put together by zip ties to create the walls of the large cage. The second art piece shown below is made up of various objects and a photograph. It incorporates a bungee cord which is used to crumble the waist of the female in the photograph. The women in the photograph is giggling and covering her mouth.
The pieces are a representation of how women are seen and treated. Many of the art pieces have a photograph underneath. The reason for the photographs underneath the art pieces is to represent the way women are viewed in society. Women are often stepped on, not seen, looked over, or put in difficult situations which is what Jane is bringing light to. The large cage, which is made by products used for domestic purposes, represent the never ending psychotic cycle that women are faced with. There is always something that has to be done in the home, whether it be dishes, cleaning, laundry, cooking, etc; which is seen as women’s work. Though it is 2016, these gender roles still exist, and it is a psychotic cycle that women who deal with these realities on a daily basis feel trapped in. The piece with the photograph and bungee cord, is also very interesting. It has become a trend among women to use waist trainers to slim their waist to achieve the “perfect” figure. The way the photograph is crumbling in the middle made me think back to those commercials for the waist trainers. The women in the commercials are happy and giddy, which is how the women in the art piece looks, she is giggling and covering her mouth. However, that is not how waist trainers make you feel.
Synthesis/ My Experience
It is hard enough being a woman, but to come out and say that you are a feminist opens the door for further negative comments and stereotypes. The art pieces in the exhibitions were not only aesthetically pleasing, but were also captivating. Reflecting back on the pieces the two that I connected with was the large cage and the photograph with bungee cord. Though it is 2016, there continues to be gender roles and negative association with work that is predominantly done by women. Even though men contribute to home chores, women still do the greater part of the chores along with caring for the children, and working outside the home. The cage represented how women feel caged in their daily lives and how it can get so bad that they may feel that they are in a psychotic cycle that is never ending. The other piece that really caught my eye and had me stop and really look and observe was the picture with the bungee cord. It definitely made me think about waist trainers and how there is this expectation for women to have the “perfect” body. The more I looked at the piece the more I saw small gestures that popped out at me. In the photograph the girl is giggling and covering up her mouth as if she is happy, which is how most girls look on the outside when wearing the waist trainers. However, the way they feel is completely different. It is uncomfortable and irritating having metals mold the soft structure of a woman’s body to create unnatural curves. But women go around with a smile on their face because they feel that they have achieved the “perfect” figure.
It was a marvelous exhibition that made me reflect and think about how far women have come, but how there is still a long way to go.