suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Jennifer GEORGESCU: It seems that while that we can recognize that we are a part of nature, there is evidence of a disconnect taking place. We have no solid definition of what it is that we claim to be a part of, and rationality is privileged over wildness and chaos. We set aside small areas of land for enjoyment, we pay to see caged animals; we want to “dabble” in nature so that we can feel closer to it. Sand, Stones, Dead Leaves & Bone examines our relationship to nature and the anxiety that comes from our lack of contact with it.
Presented in this project are slightly unsettling images of humans being engulfed by nature and vice versa; attractive and repulsive in their approach. This dualism suggests that perhaps we fear nature might win if we don’t dominate it, while at the same time alluding to the acceptance of not being in control. Through the use of medium format film photography, installation, and digital technology, I explore “backyard” suburban nature and the integration of the physical and mental self into its surroundings.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
JG: I have been reading Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild; Henry David Thoreau, Walden; Bruce Hood, The Self Illusion; and David Abram, The Spell of the Sensuous. And looking at Amy Stein’s Domesticated, Simen Johan’s Entropic Kingdom, and sculptures by Patricia Piccinini.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
JG: I recently came across a study in which participants were asked if they thought humans were a part of nature. The general consensus was yes but when these participants were asked to define what nature was, they described it as something untouched by humans. Initially, I found this study shocking but I began to realize that these contradictions offered glaring insight of our skewed relationship with nature. I began noticing that most of us don’t know the types of plants, or names of birds that inhabit our immediate surroundings, or where exactly humankind fits in with any of this. With this in mind, my work began to take on a sort of ritualistic approach where I became an every-person longing to interact with nature or to belong with it.