Artist: Jane Weibel
Exhibition: Psycho Cycle
Media: Ceramic, Paper, Photography
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Jane Weibel is finishing up her last year at CSULB and will be receiving a Bachelors of Fine Arts with a focus in ceramics. Although she hadn’t always thought to pursue art, she began her college career as a biology major but later found that art was her true passion. Ms. Weibel shared that she absolutely loves adding a lot of color to her pieces and she was also pleased to announce to the world that she was a feminist through her installation.
The first piece that caught my eye as I walked into the display was definitely the large and colorful cage, it was the focal point of the entire display. Right next to the cage was another piece which displayed multiple photographs of women carrying a very large rock. The photos looked like they were taken consecutively and almost looked like film stills. In that same area, there was a huge, colorful pile of shredded paper. The shredded paper piece, like the colorful cage, didn’t have any photo to go along with it and it was left for the audience to interpret on their own. There were many rocks in this exhibit and each piece was very different from each other. Overall, the display was very unique and eye-catching.
Ms. Weibel shared that her art was something she uses as a platform to address social issues and is not aimed toward one person in particular, but it is for a broad group of people whom she wants to enlighten. One piece everyone kept asking her about what the colorful pile of shredded paper because there was no context for it, it was literally a pile of colorful shredded paper. At first, it was hard to tie it into the installation. However, Ms. Weibel was asked what message the pile of shredded paper was supposed to give to the viewers and she answered with a question, “What does a paper shredder do?” She proceeded to explain that when someone shreds a paper using a paper shredder, they usually shred an important document and they don’t have to leave any traces of important information for anyone else to find. A shredder destroys the paper’s identity and it is almost impossible to put back together. In a sense, I feel that society does that to women and has certain ideas and standards about the ways women should behave and what they should marry, have children and take care of the home. Thus, women feel like they don’t have their own identity and that they can’t have their own goals. Once I realized the meaning of this piece I thought it was a very clever and I liked the piece even more. The piece fits very well with the feminist theme in the display and has a strong message to it.
My favorite piece was the colorful cube cage because at first, I didn’t realize that it was a cage. I walked around its perimeter and I thought it was very neat but didn’t know what it was supposed to be. After talking with Ms. Weibel, she explained that a cage is a cage no matter how colorful or pretty it is. A cage is a place where you place a living organism who you want to look at but you take away their freedoms by placing them in that cage. In a feminist view, I can see that correlating a lot with women in general. Women are always placed in a figurative cage where they are told to look pretty, be smart, clean, do chores but they are limited with choices and freedom in the workplace and in the world itself. There are so many challenges and limitations that exist in the world for women especially and it is so beautiful how Ms. Weibel was able to bring that subject up with a single piece of art. It is very deep and I hope more people understood the message she was trying to convey with each one of her pieces through her installation.