Graduate Lecture Series
Jacqueline Surdell: Tempering the Chaos of My Thoughts and Practice with some, or little(?), Control


Thursday, October 6, 12:00 p.m.
Sharp Building, 37 S. Wabash Ave., room 903

Jacqueline Surdell’s work is informed by a genuine curiosity about the power of art, its craft, materials, processes and the cultures from which they derive. Surdell is interested in exploring the troubling distinctions between materials (soft and hard), structures (rigid and collapsed), and construction techniques (gendered as masculine and feminine). Her recent move to conjoin the language of sports culture and her elaborate knotted installations demonstrates an interest in finding connections between seemingly disparate cultural practices and performances.

Surdell struggles with conflicting conditions and the morally blurry lines of histography. She questions how history itself is written, and how history is inscribed and re-inscribed through variant family narratives, personal narratives, historic narratives, school texts, larger institutions, and spaces. Is history ever written once? Is it constantly re-told? And how? Surdell is on a path to explore that which is hidden or ignored within such narratives; hidden labor, hidden history, hidden personal narratives, and unseen struggles. She finds herself undone by the possibility of labeling herself and her practice. The concept of a “discipline hopping” contemporary artist dulls such anxieties.