July 30, 2018

Hangouts: Erica Stocking

Erica Stocking during Hannah Black artist Talk.

Erica Stocking

Erica's practice is interdisciplinary and has the tendency to physically and conceptually exist between geographic spaces. She has a history of creating permanent and public work with a background in sculpture and textiles. Though her work isn't always sculpture, she operates from the lens of sculpture.  Materiality, process, and ethos is essential to her work. Erica explained that for her, ethos is the product's personal histories and the state of the artist which participates in determining the output, the quality of the work, and how it engages the space. Erica describes her method of working as a constellation of processes. (!! we LOVE astrology !!)

During the DIS Summer Institute Erica has been able to use her ongoing research to focus on working in the studio. She's been hard at work completing three projects, one of which has been ongoing. In 2010, she had been thinking about layers, materials, and their uses. Erica created sculptures for her home with materials from her house as a means of manipulating day to day life with these objects.  She was informed by architect Eileen Gray and integrated media and performance artist Yvonne Rainer, specifically thinking about how intentionality of material translates to the product.  Her practice is rooted in DIY and zeitgeist. Zeitgeist seeks to reflect the spirit/mood of a particular point in history in a given geographical location. For Erica, the zeitgeist that informs her current practice was the recession in 2008, which translated into a concern for how to produce in such a way that would result in more self-made objects that were crafted by hand and practical.

Along with her interests in material, Erica embraces duality and existing in transitional space. She is constantly negotiating with dualities and cycles. With her work at the Summer Institute titled, YES MOTHER (2018), she is examining the generational duality between mothers and daughters. Duality will not necessarily mean opposites, but rather duality as two aspects of a whole. For Erica, transitional space refers more to transformation rather than in between. I brought up the structure of haiku's and how the lines and syllables will move from five, seven, to five (transitional) but requires a seminal moment in nature where something is transforming and can not return to it's previous form (amongst other requirements).

YES MOTHER, is an emblem of intergenerational matriarchy through clothing. Erica describes the feeling of life attributed to objects (such as clothing). She recalls trying on her mother's clothing and it being too big for her, then finally fitting into her mother's clothing, and then it not feeling like her own clothing. These unnamed feeling also manifests when she sees her own daughters trying on her clothing. My own interest in how memory functions has lead me to describe Erica's feelings towards these objects as haunted.

YES MOTHER, is informed by avante garde writer, Gertrude Stein, who wrote Yes is For a Very Young Man, and Mother of Us All. These two works of theatre are examined by Erica as dual with each other. Yes is For a Very Young Man as a tale of optimism written at the beginning of Stein's career, and Mother of Us All was written at the end of her life with the intention of asking for life to move forward. Mother of Us All is a work that informs Erica and supports the role of transformation in her work. Erica  continues to look backward, but move forward with her practice.

Thank you for the layers, Erica!

Sun Sign: Cancer

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