Ariel René Jackson

Episode 57 · March 4th, 2019 · 1 hr 2 mins

About this Episode

"For me the success of a piece is if I’m able to create a weird sense of peace and disturbance to keep people there longer to sort of sit with it. Sometimes it can be hard because a lot of my work on the surface level you’re not able to see that research, you’re not able to receive that information. So a lot of it is the form and the experience with the form. I’m not necessarily interested in making didactic work. I’m very interested in using research and personal archives and communal archives to pull out some kind of poetic feeling that sort of takes from all of that research a feeling."

Statement courtesy of Ariel's website

Throughout Ariel René Jackson's family's history, land has been both a permanent reminder of systemic racism and temporal unfolding of possible transformations and outcomes based on individual and communal actions. Material remnants of a legacy of farming and traditions of black epistemology throughout the diaspora functions as a guide to sourcing materials and research. Jackson often uses installation to situate her practice into ideas of spatial matters as black matters understanding landscape as palimpsest, something reused or altered but still bearing visible traces of its earlier form. Jackson's installations incorporate physical, virtual, and aural elements. Jackson often encases found objects, embeds molds of material archives, and enlarge communal structures using naturally ephemeral materials like soil, clay, and chalk. Performance for Jackson is an opportunity to collaborate or engage with video projection, thinking of the body as both virtual and physical. In different and at times concurrent moments the body, materials, and objects become themselves and leave traces of themselves in Jackson's landscape(s).

Ariel René Jackson (b.1991) grew up between New Orleans & Mamou, LA. She currently lives and works in Austin, TX where she is completing her MFA at The University of Texas at Austin. Her work has been shown in New York City (Studio Museum in Harlem, 2016; CUE Art Foundation, 2018; SculptureCenter, 2019) as well as at the RISD Museum (Providence, RI 2017/2018), Depaul Art Museum, (Chicago, IL 2018), and the Contemporary Art Center (New Orleans, LA 2018).

Some of the subjects we discuss:

Deborah Roberts
Masters at UT
Research practice
Grandparents farm
Forty five acres
Grandmothers chair
Use of soil/location
Austin redlining
Cage match project
Artistic origins
Grandmothers habits
High school/college
Grad school
Dressing yards
Mary Gilmore
Being in the wake
Grid machine
Nod to the past


2019 Studio Art MFA Thesis Exhibition

May 10 – 25, 2019

Visual Art Center
The University of Texas at Austin
Art Building
2300 Trinity St (directly north of DKR – Texas Memorial Stadium)

This exhibition presents culminating work in a range of media by students receiving their master of fine arts degrees in Studio Art from The University of Texas at Austin.

The opening reception is on May 10, 2019.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Intro music generously provided by Stan Killian

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