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Still Life 3 and Blind Eye by 
Jennifer Steinkamp*

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Jennifer Steinkamp is an installation artist who works with video and new media in order to explore ideas about architectural space, motion, and perception.

Still-Life 3 (2019) is about fruit bearing plants, the girl parts. I was tempted by the idea of making a no-so-still-life because the subject seems so wryly taboo. I think about how female ovaries are overlooked in the most basic aspects of our culture. Still-Life is an appreciation of early still life artists: Rachel Rutsch, Clara Peeters, Maria Vos, Artemisia Gentileschi, Judith Leyster.

Blind Eye (2018-2019) was conceived to interact with the Clark Art Institute's 140-acre setting and the architecture of the Lunder Center at Stone Hill designed by the architect Tadao Ando. The art engages with one of the oldest themes in art history nature and landscape. Blind Eye depicts the seasonal phases of a birch grove. The composition is a play on monocular perspective, an inter-exchange of a multiple gaze.

I am fascinated by the recent discoveries that trees communicate through an underground chemical exchange; the Radio Lab Episode where they discussed this was amazing. You can certainly sense the incorporeal in nature. If anything, this is a consistent current in my work. There is so much we can just barely sense and feel; I believe we are surrounded by sentience. I use the tangible invisible forces in air to communicate this, for example, an invisible wind is revealed by the trees movement in Blind Eye.

The title Blind Eye is a play on words: it refers to a tree blind; it also conveys the singular eye scars left on birch trees after they lose their branches; it is seeing with one eye, or monocular vision; there are so many things we turn a blind eye to these days, Trump pulling out of the Paris Agreement is among the most hideous. We are dumping carbon and methane gases into the atmosphere, changing the climate at exceeding rates.

*Jennifer Steinkamp, Still Life 3 and Blind Eye are featured in Centerpoint Now ©2020, World Council of Peoples for the United Nations, UN 75th anniversary special edition "Are we there yet?" co-produced with Streaming Museum. Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin Gallery.

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