Feelings of Insecurity Like Coiled Snakes

Feelings of Insecurity Like Coiled Snakes

September-November 2017

Artist: Hannah Hirsekorn

My work is an unveiling of identity. It is the series of incongruities that arise between one’s innate need to make a difference as an individual and the desperate desire to advance the group as a whole. It is an exploration of tangible anxieties that manifest themselves through the constant struggle with feelings of inadequacy and despair. Aesthetically I am interested in the contextual intersection of fibers and metals, the physical spaces where these materials are manipulated and how the material itself can manipulate the identity of the individual.

Feelings of Insecurity Like Coiled SnakesFeelings of Insecurity Like Coiled SnakesFeelings of Insecurity Like Coiled SnakesFeelings of Insecurity Like Coiled SnakesFeelings of Insecurity Like Coiled Snakes
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Simone de Beauvoir attributed the rise of the iron industry to the displacement of women as the second sex, thus relegated to menial textile factory work. A sense of uneasiness in my work reflects the perverse stigma of these gendered material histories. The anthropomorphization of objects and objectification of bodies in my work conjures the abject within comforting domestic spaces, emphasizing the often-dichotomous nature of individuality. A sense of humor, inspired by working with children, empowers my process with simplicity and play. My pieces are saturated with sentimentality, at times pressing the implications of signifiers to the extent that the meaning becomes obscured, leading the viewer to use their own associations and histories to provide insight and interpretation. Precision and form are secondary to a sense of play and maudlin attachment. I want to blur the lines between safety and danger, organic and produced, by re-contextualizing intimate domestic spaces, often through tongue-in-cheek imagery. I am interested in exploring the conflict of identity and the strain between an individual’s obligations to societal categories of her perceived role and the struggle to retain originality and an authentic license to create.

Just as the individual factory worker concerns her/his-self with her/his contribution to the group, I am constantly reflecting on the nature of my own participation as a working part of a larger sum. Whether embedded in a production foundry in Chicago, or in the midst of a batik dying assembly line in Lusaka, Zambia, my curiosity and work ethic have led me to be exposed to a variety of disciplines, peoples, cultures and materials. I consider objects not just by their physical properties, but in the context of their production histories and my own personal, experiential associations. In conjunction with full time professional work, I have dedicated myself to a continuous studio practice, I have also assisted artists, soaking up new techniques and strategies for artistic advancement. I am passionately focused on the empowerment of myself, of other individuals within the group, and of the group as a whole. As an educator of young artists, my goal is to help each one find her/his own creative point of view and the necessary courage to express it. I also seek to foster cooperation and partnership among artists so each may find ways to answer her/his own question of identity and contribution, individually as well as collectively.

Hannah Hirsekorn

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