"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:
Masters at UT
Forty five acres
Use of soil/location
Cage match project
Being in the wake
Nod to the past
May 10 – 25, 2019
Visual Art Center
The University of Texas at Austin
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
- Ariel René Jackson
- First Look: Ariel René Jackson - Art in America
- Ariel René Jackson (@arielrenejacksonstudio) • Instagram
- Austin Art Talk Podcast Episode 19: Deborah Roberts
- Deborah Roberts - website
- Cage Match Project » Round VII
- Bridge to Terabithia (novel) - Wikipedia
- In the Wake: On Blackness and Being: Christina Sharpe
- MFA candidate Ariel René Jackson in Art in America - Department of Art and Art History - The University of Texas at Austin
- Studio Art professor Nicole Awai and MFA candidate Ariel Jackson featured in New York Times - Department of Art and Art History - The University of Texas at Austin
- Seeing Color - Episode 10: Rights of Opacity (w/ Ariel René Jackson)