elizabeth jones


Elizabeth Jones, “Penumbra”, performance, 2012

“The sting of failure is sometimes most intense in relation to the perceived failure of our human form.”

Elizabeth Jones looks at the perceived failure of the body to not conform to current acceptable standards. Using 100 pounds of bread dough made from scratch over a series of days, the artist is covered and suffocated with this growing mass. Physically and mentally, she challenges her own limits of comfort and exposure. Like Tehching Hsieh, who sacrificed his body and sense of comfort to endure his one-year long performances, Jones puts her own body and image on display — confronting the viewer with a potentially grotesque and misshapen form that slowly grows before our eyes. “Instead of the amazing shrinking woman, she is the opposite: a growing thing, viewed by many as a disaster in formation.”

detail, "Penumbra", performance, 2012

detail, “Penumbra”, performance, 2012

Implicit in the effort to lose weight in this country is our perception of what the ideal form is. Within these strict parameters, failure is inevitable in nearly every body. The mere presence of a form in the public space that is less than the ideal is almost seen as an affront to our concept of success. Jones asks: “What can feed this insatiable hunger for a solution to the body that is never quite achieved?” Instead of hungering for food, we hunger instead for the perfect control over it and for the body that is evidence of this management of self.

*quotes from artist statement by Elizabeth Jones
make your own 100 pounds of dough with this recipe. (thank you, Better Homes & Gardens!)
try your own instigative project, inspired by Elizabeth’s performance.

One response to “elizabeth jones

  1. Pingback: the last day of the show! | Comfort Zones·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s