Trapos al sol

Jimena Diaz Jirash

See it On Campus: Level 2

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Trapos al Sol will be displayed at the Libby Leshgold Gallery (May 11th-25th, 2023).

Trapos al sol, 2023 in process.

“The thing that’s important to know is that you never know.

You’re always sort of feeling your way.”

Diane Arbus[1]

[1]  Diane Arbus cited in Art Blart.

Trapos al sol, 2023 Photo: Michael Love

I began the MFA with the intention of researching anamnesis, involuntary memory, and the female body. Initially, I explored with the same photo base practice I had been working with before, but soon recognized that an experiential approach would be better suited to explore these concepts. For this reason, I decided to investigate different forms of knowledge through materiality. While the thinking process of my artistic research allowed for transferability across media such as painting, photography, and architecture, the creative process shifted to an embodied one, achieved by “working-through” the materials chosen: concrete, beeswax and textiles.

Each of the works I developed raised new questions, which became the backbone upon which the next work was created. They allowed the realization that even as the work I was making was based on my research questions, I became aware of alternative reasons for my actions and decisions, motives which were originally hidden but apparently present in my body. It was unexpected and interesting to become aware of these other motives that seemed to be in contradiction to my reasoning process and my cognitive knowledge. In a way, I embodied what I was researching without realizing it. Nearing the end of the program, I created Trapos al sol, 2023 , which raises questions that have brought me back to where I started, circling back to “nothingness” through anamnesis, involuntary memory, and my own body. Far from reaching any definitive conclusions, I have arrived at a point where more questions have been raised. I recognize that some of my artistic decisions do not have concrete answers and that this openness, even when it might seem paradoxical, makes the search worthwhile. In this way, the “nothingness” of my practice entering the MFA program has become fuller and more complex.

Trapos al sol, 2023

Trapos al sol, 2023 is about the femicides occurring in Mexico –gender based murders of women of all ages. It is a hybrid-work composed of “formless” pieces installed directly on the floor of the gallery space and the residue that their absence leaves behind. The process of making the work begins as a private performance, but one that ends up being a physical object, and a “formless” sculpture where the shape of the pieces that compose it is irrelevant, their importance been given by encapsulating the emotional journey that has been worked-through in the process together with the concrete and the textiles. Even though this work is based on my personal perspective and reflects the problems of a specific geographical location, the place where I was born, raised and have lived most of my life, it addresses universal themes of pain, violence, absence, death, and mourning that touch everyone.

The embodied process through which Trapos al sol was created, was a path filled with uncertainty and wonder, which allowed me to access, even if for a fleeing moment, anamnesis and involuntary memory, forms of knowledge other than cognitive ones. By doing so, what is unforgotten is not the events themselves, but rather the affects generated. It is also a process that transformed the materials themselves. The strength of the concrete was replaced by brittleness, while the textile’s softness, pliability and color were lost. In the end, these two materials merge generating a pink dust that is left behind as a mark of their absence.

By creating Trapos al sol, I provide a space for the audience to work-through their own affects and possibly build a bridge where we can connect through our differences.

Elements of Trapos al sol:

Jimena Diaz Jirash

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Jimena Diaz Jirash, is a multidisciplinary Mexican artist interested in exploring “nothingness” through the unknown-known, forms of knowledge other than cognitive ones, such as involuntary memory and anamnesis by following an embodied process in partnership with materiality. Her artistic practice is in close conversation to Bataille’s idea of the informe, creating work that is formless and performative.
She has a Masters in Philosophy and Cultural Analysis from Universiteit van Amsterdam, The Netherlands 2000 and a BArch in Architecture from Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City 1996. She currently resides and creates in Vancouver, the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of The xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

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