Jen BervinUnited States
Grants Awarded2016 | Visual Art | China
for a grant to carry out research in China on traditional silk embroidery technique and 4th Century poet Su Huiïs Xuanji Tu, (Picture of the Turning Sphere) for a large-scale, multidisciplinary artwork
Strange Oscillations and Vibrations of Sympathy features work by contemporary female artists that acknowledge or reference women writers. The exhibition's title is derived from a sentence Sylvia Plath underlined in her copy of Virginia Woolf's The Waves, and that Stephanie Brooks later appropriated for a text-based artwork. These multiple layers of mediation are integral to all of the included works. The exhibition features 34 works by 21 artists inspired by writers Octavia Butler, A. S. Byatt, María Elena Cruz Varela, Emily Dickinson, Zora Neale Hurston, Clarice Lispector, Gabriela Mistral, Toni Morrison, Alejandra Pizarnik, Mary Shelley, Rebecca Solnit, Gertrude Stein, Sylvia Plath, Mary Wollstonecraft, and Virginia Woolf.
Poets Ari Banias, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, and Souvankham Thammavongsa read selections of their work in honor of Agnes Martin in an evening curated by artist Jen Bervin. The program concludes with a reception and exhibition viewing of Agnes Martin.
To celebrate the publication of the One Hand Clapping exhibition catalogue, the Guggenheim presents an evening of readings by a roster of international poets including Tan Lin, Feliz Lucia Molina, Sawako Nakayasu, Lynn Xu, and catalogue contributor Nicholas Wong. Each poet will present new works addressing themes explored in the exhibition and accompanying catalogue, following a short conversation with catalogue designer Chris Wu and editor Andrew Maerkle. This event is guest curated by visual artist/poet and ACC alumna Jen Bervin in collaboration with exhibition curator and ACC alumnus Xiaoyu Weng.
In Jen Bervin’s large-scale installation River, a hand-sewn model of the Mississippi River in silver sequins, you see the river reversed, mapped from the geocentric perspective— from inside the earth’s interior looking up at the riverbed. The scale is one inch to one mile. It took twelve years to make, and the same amount of time to sew each section of river that it would to walk the real one. The artist sewed the 230 curvilinear feet long sculpture by hand, including each of the thousands of reflective, silver sequins that densely cover the surface. The archipelagoes of the delta, south of New Orleans in the Gulf of Mexico, are mirrored. Wherever the piece is exhibited, the people and the space around them will be reflected. The first exhibition of the entire piece will be installed on the ceiling of the I.M. Pei space at the Des Moines Art Center in October 2018, curated by Alison Ferris.
Grantee: Jen Bervin