musings & publications

Hibernation: Resting in Peace: A Sculptural Installation By Jen Raimondi
by Doug Norris. read this article...

Essay for Hibernation: Resting In Peace
Ellen Driscoll, 2006. read this article...

Essay for Hibernation: Resting In Peace
by Cynthia Farnell, May 2006. read this article...

Editor’s Note, “Art of the matter,” excerpt Janine Weisman, editor. read this article...

“Creature Discomfort” by Cynthia Farnell. read this article...

Editor’s Note, “Art of the matter,” excerpt Janine Weisman, editor

Mercury, vol. 248 no. 22, June 1 - June 7 2005, Newport, RI

Consternation. Disgust. An overwhelming desire to look away. Such was my initial reaction, I confess, to sculptor Jen Raimondi’s “Solace,” one of the various works of art pictured with Mercury contributing writer Cynthia Farnell’s cover story on six local artists you should know more about.

But the more I studied the photo of Raimondi’s piece, the more questions it made me ask. While the sculpture resembles a male appendage, it sits in a sink. So how can it be dirty? It looks so harmless. So how could it make me feel so uneasy?

And just what the hell is it anyway?

What it is, to me at least, is a commentary on what it means to be human.Raimondi typically places her creature sculptures in furnished settings suggestive of the Victorian era, a time of dignity and restraint in outward appearances. Clean us up, dress us in fine clothing, sit us on nice furniture in a nice house with lace curtains on the windows. It doesn’t change who we are beneath the layers of refinement. We are flesh and blood, creatures of desire and yearning, capable of acts both honorable and shameful. We once walked on all fours. We just figured out how to stand upright about 4 million years ago.

Therein lies one notion of “solace” in Raimondi’s vivid image. If underneath it all we are only human, then perhaps we can be excused for screwing up. If your hunger, greed, lust, or loneliness got the better of you, you can take some small comfort in the knowledge that you’ve been programmed to be a sinner, not a saint.