Jen Dwyer is a ceramicist and artist based in Brooklyn and making work about the political realm in relation to current social issues. Directly affected by the debates surrounding abortion, Planned Parenthood, and the general censorship of underrepresented people, Jen has taken it upon herself to take a stand with her work. View her pieces and artist statement below.
Our current political and social climate is arguably the most divisive or turbulent period that anyone of my generation or younger has ever experienced in this country. With the recent election, it's impossible to listen to the news, open a social media app or even listen to podcast without hearing strong discourse. Having always been interested in women’s bodies- this election, once again, made it apparent how our stories of sexual subjugation and violence are socially minimized and repressed as taboo.
My most recent work, Current Mood and Nasty Woman Tiles, were created in response to the President bragging about grabbing women by the genitalia in an Access Hollywood tape, recorded in 2005. He responded to this video by calling it “locker room banter.” It's important not to let our new President’s hate speech become normalized.
My intentional use of a manufactured plastic vagina and hands in the casting process demonstrate a collective otherness of all women that Trump has alluded to in his rhetoric. Though this tape demonstrated his negative views of women, by making all the hands the same, it also signifies strong unity of the people he has opposed. I then added subtle individualization of each tile by showcasing each person's unique handwriting and specific pelvic height. The spectrum of pastel colors and the lack of realistic skin hues were used to employ the ideology of Intersectional Feminism, bringing focus the collective whole and giving a visual voice to equality for all women.
Intersectional feminism, coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw in 1989, is, "the view that women experience oppression in varying configurations and in varying degrees of intensity." There is no one-size-fits-all type of feminism. Now more than ever, people are open to dialogue on issues thought to be subjects once left unspoken.