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Lena Grabher. SUNY New Paltz. New Graduates 2015

Article  /  ArtistsGraduate 2015
Published: 21.07.2015
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Intro
Diplopia presents Lena Grabher's rigorous investigation of identity, adornment and the subjectivity of the wearer and viewer. She interrogates the nature of jewelry and its relationship to skin - understanding both as a surface that we can control, manipulate and present to an expanding audience.
State University of New York at New Paltz, New York, USA.

Lena Grabher - Diplopia
Visible and mobile, my body is a thing among things; it is one of them. It is caught in the fabric of the world, and its cohesion is that of a thing. But because it sees and moves itself, it holds things in a circle around itself.
― Maurice Merleau-Ponty


Diplopia means “double vision,” and refers to the symptom of seeing two images instead of one. It is the simultaneous perception of two images of a single object that may be displaced horizontally, vertically or diagonally. In such cases, the dominant image of the object is accompanied by secondary images that may be less intense, distorted, or fleeting. Used here, the term refers to the effects of play back, projection, and distortion, that are threaded through this body of work.
What we place on our body becomes a part of the image of our projected self and therefore acts as an indicator of our identity. How do I want to portray my identity? Jewelry and the skin are similar in their abilities to simultaneously embellish, reveal, and conceal. They are both layers that shape our appearance literally and figuratively. While the kind of jewelry we choose to wear may describe our mood or our personal preferences for certain forms or colors, it can also project the internal, outward. It can commemorate our past, divulge our private relationships, and expose our affiliations. Jewelry has the ability to effect the way we appear to others, which means it is a method to modify and influence our own appearance. Similarly, a rash can disclose an internal condition, a scar can be a reminder of an event, and wrinkles reflect our age. The skin may be treated artificially, ranging from surgical alterations to tattooing and so forth, revealing our priorities, desires, and anxieties. These layers are constantly being negotiated between the external and internal as a means by which we recognize ourselves both internally and externally, in unison on a physical as well as on a psychological level.

In DIPLOPIA I manipulate aspects of physical appearance. Using the language of jewelry, I explore optics and illusion in order to play with the wearer and viewer‘s perception. Jewelry as a traditional means of adornment is a part of our appearance, and therefore a medium to explore this idea more closely. I use jewelry to create a symbiotic relationship between the body and its environment, using light projection, magnification or mirroring to blur the boundary between the two. While the skin is always playing an important role, I am focusing on the presence of the body and the interaction of the wearable object with the body and its surroundings. The position of jewelry in relationship to the body is often, but not always, subordinate. What relationships can jewelry create, between the body, adornment, and one’s surroundings? The body is challenging as a site to present an object, because the ability to control the conditions of presentation and reception is limited. What we see and what we perceive are interwoven and cannot be disentangled from each other. I want to use the body not as a vacancy for adornment, but to acknowledge the body as part of the conceived jewelry, and to create a synergy using the body as an important element of the piece. The space of the body and its variability and particularity complicates perception, but it also activates the objects in a transformative and unpredictable way which makes them particular according to the space. Therefore, my goal is to create jewelry that not only stands alone as an object but obtains its function when worn.
 

Diplopia presents Lena Grabher's rigorous investigation of identity, adornment and the subjectivity of the wearer and viewer. She interrogates the nature of jewelry and its relationship to skin - understanding both as a surface that we can control, manipulate and present to an expanding audience. Through a quasi-scientific aesthetic, Lena Grabher deftly plays with an implied objectivity and presumed remove from the subject, while the objects present entirely new perspectives that come to life on the body. She realizes this work with exacting methods: cutting optical lenses on a lathe; building structure by hand and through the use of digital fabrication technologies; and by directly casting her own fabric in silicon embedded with tulle, resulting in a membrane that is both strengthened and decorated by its lace-like pattern. The formal outcome of her research - provocative, wearable objects with characteristics of instruments and devices  - is an astute conflation of ornament and utility that challenges our perception of self and other, and the role of jewelry in this construction. / Professor Myra Mimlitsch-Gray, Head of the Metal Program, State University of New York - New Paltz, July 2015

Find out more about the courses and deadlines for applications to State University of New York at New Paltz
Lena Grabher. Neckpiece: Diplopia 1, 2015. Elasto - plastic, glass, monofilament. Photo by: Dana Schmerzler. Lena Grabher
Neckpiece: Diplopia 1, 2015
Elasto - plastic, glass, monofilament
Photo by: Dana Schmerzler
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Lena Grabher. Body piece: Diplopia 2, 2015. PVC fresnel lens sheet, silver, copper, steel. Photo by: Dana Schmerzler. Lena Grabher
Body piece: Diplopia 2, 2015
PVC fresnel lens sheet, silver, copper, steel
Photo by: Dana Schmerzler
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Lena Grabher. Neckpiece: Diplopia 3, 2015. Elasto-plastic, magnets, silicone, polyester, acrylic mirror, steel. Photo by: Lukas Gaechter. Lena Grabher
Neckpiece: Diplopia 3, 2015
Elasto-plastic, magnets, silicone, polyester, acrylic mirror, steel
Photo by: Lukas Gaechter
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Lena Grabher. Shoulder Piece: Diplopia 4, 2015. Steel, glass. Photo by: Lena Grabher. Lena Grabher
Shoulder Piece: Diplopia 4, 2015
Steel, glass
Photo by: Lena Grabher
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Lena Grabher. Head Piece: Diplopia 5, 2015. Aluminum, silver, silicone, tulle, mirror styrene. Photo by: Lukas Gaechter. Lena Grabher
Head Piece: Diplopia 5, 2015
Aluminum, silver, silicone, tulle, mirror styrene
Photo by: Lukas Gaechter
© By the author. Read Klimt02.net Copyright.
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