Name: Jennifer Vasher
Born: Indianapolis, IN
Lives and works: Placitas, NM
Jennifer Vasher’s installations and sculptures evoke the contradictory collision of the desire for purity and the environmentally toxic consumer culture of cleanliness. Lotion bottles, aspirin, and other pharmaceuticals appear as decorative art objects within the domestic landscapes of her installations. Vasher is inspired by the interplay between desire, fear, addiction, marketing, and consumerism. Her work uses satire and juxtaposition to expose the consequences of our behaviors on the environment and ourselves. Influenced by political, social, and environmental issues, she explores the cheer, desperation, and manipulation with which we, as a consumer culture, are engaged.
With a sharp focus on the interactions between the rituals of cleanliness and the petroleum industry, health obsession and the pharmaceutical crisis, her work questions the commodification of goodness. At the same time, her white, crystalline installations, like Spa-altar, give the impression of a space of purity and cleansing. Emphasizing whiteness and its link to cleanliness, Vasher’s work subtly critiques the pursuit of purity, which connects to white supremacy and colonialism, even ethnic cleansing. The darker side of the optimistic, progressive positivity of a society intent on being clean lurks under the surface of her works. At what cost to the environment, to our own health and sanity, to social relationships do we pursue goodness housed in valuing what is “pure”?
Plumerai, a collaboration by Jennifer and Max Vasher will be showing in Richard Levy Gallery’s Project Space March 5-April 19, with a reception on Saturday, March 23.