JANET TELECKI: NEW WORKS
Jelena Telecki's new works are a continuation of her previous concern with the personal and historical past of her country, only now her present life as a migrant in Australia has been taken into the consideration. This has led her to address the hesitancy and the confusion of living in-between two cultures in her paintings: as a migrant living and working in Australia, she perceives this confusion as an innate part of a migrant identity and aims to further explore this issue. In this sense, new works try to capture the perplexity of being in a constant shift from a compliant of the immediate surrounding and its expectations to adapt to a positive and a happy environment, to a never fading sense of being a failure with a never ending feeling of a disappointment inseparable from both the recent past of Telecki's country of origin and her own.
Telecki's paintings often depict an imagined solution for this predicament either through presenting an imagined product for the 'happy assimilation' (for instance bright colored teeth in the Happy, Happy painting depicting a woman trying to smile) or through the portraits of anonymous migrants trying to be present and happy while trying not to dwell too much on their past lives. In these works color is used as a signifier of a forceful need to be optimistic and happy, opposed to neutral or dark colors (arguably indication of my Eastern European background). Finally, the works are leading to the realization that only through the awareness of the perplexity caused by never fully belonging anywhere anymore, it can become possible for a migrant to feel a true self, or to be able to understand oneself through both lives in the birth and adopted countries.
Jelena Telecki is a Sydney based artist born in Yugoslavia.
She has recently completed Master of the Visual Arts degree at the Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney and has exhibited in Sydney, Melbourne, London and Serbia.
My practice primarily investigates contemporary conceptions around embodiment and the body. The current group of works focusses on the intersections between gender, desire and sexuality (as expressed in feminist writer Judith Butler's work), and the ways in which these operate to constrain and define our bodies.
Working with inner tubes poses some interesting challenges and resolutions to these conceptions of the body. In particular, I'm interested in the transformative possibilities of the tubes, particularly when they are constrained or put under duress. Perhaps in keeping with cultural perceptions of the body, the surface of the tyres are defined by their exteriority – their skin. They have no interior structure. Like our bodies, they are both extremely robust, and incredibly fragile. They are also incredibly responsive to the kinds of stresses and constraints I'm subjecting them to, and I'm fascinated by the unpredictable outcomes of this exchange: each tube, under the same conditions, responds differently. This includes stressing them to the point of rupture, be it explosive and dramatic, or a quiet expiration that leaves the surface semi-permeable. These formal outcomes have metaphoric qualities that connect with our unique, individual embodied expressions of gender and sexuality. As such, the works aim to challenge, question and investigate the cultural constraints that pressure us to conform to pre-conceived gender and sexual binaries. JC
Janet Carter was born in Lincolnshire, England in 1966. She currently lives and works in Perth, Western Australia.
Janet undertook a Diploma of Performing Arts (specialising in Set and Props Construction) at the WA Academy of Performing Arts, graduating in 1995. She returned to Edith Cowan University to do her Bachelor of Visual Arts, which she completed in 2008. She is currently doing Honours at the same institution.
Carter's practice embraces sculpture, installation and new media works. She is primarily concerned with investigating contemporary conceptions around embodiment and the body. This current group of works focuses on the intersections between gender, desire and sexuality, and the ways in which these work to constrain and define our bodies.
She has contributed to a number of group exhibitions, including Vitreosity, Moores Building, Fremantle (2005), HATCHED, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (2008), Video Killed The Radio Star, Horus & Deloris Contemporary Art Space (2008) and Queer City Lane Dwellers, Guildford Lane Gallery, Melbourne (Midsumma Festival 2009). This is her first solo exhibition.