OCDChinatown is pleased to present a new installation by Jessie Stead featuring an ensemble of light sculptures with inter-related digital elements in text, audio, and video projection. An original soundtrack composed by the artist and presented in an edition of 7” lathe-cut plexiglass records is embedded in the exhibition.
A “spacer” is a generic term for lamp making parts, specifically elements with a center hole, used to obscure a light source’s wires while simultaneously creating a designed “space” supporting the illumination.
A gathering of figurative “spacers”, decorative anachronistic idealizations of youth barely passing as the otherworldly, have been collected from cheap broken lamps and chandeliers and unwittingly re-employed in an exhibition littered with the cryptology of a disembodied screenplay page and preoccupied by the rhythms of an artist’s junk mail.
Supporting actors with a hollow center, the spacers hang out in sparse, draped clothing. Some of them have grapes. Lacking motivation for their performative labor as cinematic furniture, the screenplay attempts justification through fictional history (at least place and time). They wake up somewhere known as the compression grotto, adorned with near obsolete (but prismatic) technology.
As they loop in a broken movie, averages of pipe dreams unsure how best to be recycled protagonists, the spacers hazily remember that time when they used to be just lamps.
— Stead, 2019
Jessie Stead works in overlapping patterns of installation, music, cinema, collaboration and other forms of cross-disciplined art. Her solo and group work has been presented widely in varied platforms including the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany, Performa 13, New York, The London Film Festival, United Kingdom, Moma PS1, New York, 247365, New York and Jan Kaps, Cologne. She is the experimental percussionist in the art-band Hairbone (formerly Haribo). Hairbone’s debut LP Earth to Momma, produced by Stead, was released in 2018 by Blank Forms Editions. Recent work in moving image includes two music videos for hairbone and the editing and sound design for the feature documentary George: the Story of George Maciunas & Fluxus which premiered at Moma in 2018. www.jessiestead.com.