Artist: Jane Weibel
Exhibition: Psycho Cycle
Media: Photography, Ceramics, Sculptures, Paper, Chord
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery East
About the Artist
This week at the Gatov Gallery East, I got to meet an immensely talented and passionate artist, Jane Weibel, and on display was her Psycho Cycle exhibition. Jane is currently in her last semester here at CSULB where she is working on obtaining her BFA degree in the School of Art’s Ceramics program. Before coming to CSULB, Jane attended San Diego Mesa College in San Diego, CA. She did not always plan on becoming an artist. She started out majoring in Biology, then to Nutrition, and even dabbled in massage therapy along the way. However, she said that she was always interested in art as a kid, and taking ceramics classes later in life helped motivate her to finally change her major to Ceramics. Upon graduating from CSULB, Jane plans on attending graduate school for ceramics or sculpture, and she hopes to have her own galleries in the future.
At the gallery’s entrance, there is a piece of paper where Weibel publicly declares that she is a feminist. Here, she also states that the pieces in this exhibition are a “collection of gestures” used to show how women are often “spoken over, objectified, dismissed, stereotyped, shamed, cheated, constrained, repressed, overpowered, manipulated, erased, ignored and harmed.” Right off the bat, I get the impression that she is angry and fed up with all of these occurrences, and she is truly passionate about displaying it through her art.
Walking into this exhibition, the first element that caught my eye was the giant, colorful plastic cage. It reminded me of something free and whimsical that you would see children climbing on in a park. However, that was not the idea Weibel was trying to convey here, but we’ll discuss that a little later. This exhibition also featured jagged, ceramic rocks and sculptures, as well as a pile of shredded, colorful paper. Underneath and attached to some of the rocks were pictures of body parts, such as hands and feet.
Psycho Cycle displays Weibel’s views as a feminist. She clearly states to viewers of this exhibition that she is angry with the way women are treated in today’s society, and these gestures drive her to do what she does best. These gestures give her work a purpose and meaning. Weibel’s pieces that include the ceramic rocks and photos of body parts are examples of how she portrays women as being “stuck” or “trapped” underneath society’s views and feelings towards women. The rocks can be seen as the burden that women have to carry throughout their lives and the pressure they have to deal with on a daily basis. The large, colorful pile of shredded paper was used to show how women’s ideas and identities can be shredded and disregarded in today’s world.
The large, colorful cage that we discussed earlier was another piece that Weibel created in order to portray her idea of women feeling trapped. This cage limits the movement and progression of women. Weibel described that this feeling makes it harder for women to break through the stereotypes given to them. She also mentioned that this piece was created with the cheap, plastic material in order to show how she feels women are treated: cheaply.
Synthesis / My Experience
Weibel’s exhibition intrigued me the moment I peaked into the gallery. There was a lot going on, but at the same time, everything was connected and had the same theme, which I liked. As a woman, I definitely respect and appreciate Weibel’s exhibition. I, too, believe that society has constantly made women feel like they are trapped, constrained, and objectified. There are so many pressures that we have to face on a daily basis, so it is refreshing to see how somebody else views all of this. Sometimes, I do feel like my voice isn’t heard or that my thoughts and feelings don’t matter. In my opinion, Weibel’s message was clearly stated through her work. Though it took me some time to put 2 and 2 together with a few pieces, I walked out of the gallery knowing what each piece meant and the message that Weibel was trying to convey.
Some people might feel like it is difficult and a bit controversial to take on these projects with messages like Weibel’s, but when it comes to art, we can freely portray life as we see it. Psycho Cycle was definitely a powerful and meaningful project for Weibel to take on, but I think she executed it flawlessly. I can’t wait to see what else she has in store. Maybe her next piece will show how women can break through that cage… But we’ll just have to wait and see…