Friday, October 7, 2011

Denying Usefulness: Momentum Artist Laura Reese

Laura Reese, Norman
Laura Reese, Powerful Object to be Set Aside on a Silk Pillow
and Not to be Touched, 
Cast iron, silk, 4"x20"x10"
Tell us about your concept for this piece.
Laura Reese: My concept was at first just the hammer itself. I delighted in the irony of a sledge hammer carefully wrapped in bubble wrap and saran wrap. I wanted this object that is intended to be used to be made unusable. The source of these textures may not be evident to the audience but it becomes irrelevant by the placement of the hammer on the pillow. The pillow transforms the hammer from tool to ornamental object.

Of course it also has some feminist interpretations. The pink could be seen as symbolic of feminine delicacy, and the suffocating plastic wrapping, as perhaps evocative of the intentional wrapping up of a woman's power. The placement of a powerful object in a delicate context can diminish its power.

Is this part of a series?
LR: This work is part of a group of work using cast metal and silk. The other pieces similarly have themes of feminine identity, power and the simultaneity of femininity and energetic strength that has been rendered inconceivable by particular societies. My work, however, is not only about women's issues. I try to work with objects that stand on their own, as each of the other pieces in this series do.

Where else might audiences see your artwork?
LR: My work can be viewed on my website at, and my work is often around Norman and the University of Oklahoma for different shows and events.

Momentum Tulsa opens October 8 with live music, performance and visual art by 57 young Oklahomans. The exhibition remains on display until October 27 at Living Arts of Tulsa, 307 E Brady. Learn more or buy tickets here.

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