The Body Is Free Jen Smith IMAGES
September 24—November 5, 2016
Reception: Saturday, September 24, 7–10PM
Commonwealth and Council presents This Body Is Free by Jen Smith, an exhibition that commemorates our social fabric through textile-based work.
This Body Is Free is an installation of floor to ceiling patchwork cloth—made from bolts of new fabric and old clothing. During the course of the exhibition, sections of this mother cloth will be cut away and customized into useful objects for those who have helped and inspired her with their support and generosity. Given away as gifts, the work transforms artistic labor into a gesture of gratitude.
Embracing communal affirmation and critical provocation, Smith’s practice explores the utopic/dystopic possibilities of the familiar. She reworks form and language to expose optimism, spectacle, failure, and longing. Through food offerings and alternate forms of exchange, her work reminds us that the politics of the social and the economic are always intimate, bodily, and of everyday use.
Jen Smith is a feminist, artist, musician, and small business owner. Credited with coining the term “Riot Grrrl,” Smith has played music halls, street protests, and squats. She has made posters, zines, albums, cabarets, clothes, and food in collaboration with and for her community for 25 years. Her formal artwork continues to draw from these influences. She received her BA in American Studies from University of Maryland, College Park, and MFA from University of California, Irvine. Her catering business, Full Moon Pickles, is located in East Los Angeles.