These self-portraits are snapshots that explore aspects of human vulnerability, transition, exposure, and concealment. Without ever fully exposing the body or experience, each Polaroid reveals a little more under folds that form waves of purple and golden yellow. Which continue to abstract the experience and forms that lay underneath. The original inspiration was born out of an experimentation of circumstance that allowed for an expression of freedom in a normally private moment.
In 1996 I was 11 years old. In November of that year my grandmother walked 1.5 miles from Muscatel Ave, on the border of San Gabriel and Temple City, to the intersection of El Monte and San Gabriel. The distance from the first location, my house, and the second location is only .1 miles away from her intended ended destination, her house. She was only two blocks away from her home and she never made it. Magdalena Davilos Chacon, died walking across San Gabriel Blvd. This incident changed my life entirely and this is the first time I have allowed myself to explore her experience.
I went back and took the walk for the first time since her untimely death. The series starts on the sidewalk of my past residence and ends in the intersection where she was hit by a car and died. The intention of the series is to recapture the mood and tone of her last walk home. Each photograph is at eye level, with to recapture her point of view. As the series progresses the light source becomes heightened and distorted. This creates an air of uneasiness, anxiety, yet seemingly spiritual. The light flashes, crashes, and passes, just like the time that is experienced on the walk. Then, in the last photograph, the light fades away. This was the last thing she saw.
Living as a disabled person I have come to recognize vast differences in everyday experiences. I have come to recognize that in public situations there is a shift in attention when I enter into a new space. The strange thing that happens is that I become immediately visible and simultaneously invisible. People always turn and stare at me and then immediately turn away. Whether it is to be polite or they simply realize that their stare is adverted back to their personal space and away from my recognition. Thus the phenomenon of being both visible and invisible happens. This experience forms the basis of my photographic works. I photograph public spaces in which I make myself intentionally obscured and blurred while the space that surrounds me is in focus. Thus making the experience of being visible and invisible a tangible actualization. This is a working series, with plans for further exploration in multiple venues and odd situation.
In this scene the artist is lost in the over abundance of information that art history provides, lost between all mediums, and perplexed by the continuous movement of time and the ever-changing art world. The inhabitant finds himself or herself weighted by the massive density of art history, while their own work surrounds them in the madness that they have isolated themselves in. This piece truly comes from the constant struggle to create and identify ones true voice in the art world.
Time Lapse is about the physical collection of time and space kept in the form of a movie ticket. The series starts in 1999 and has halted at 2012. The images amassed together in chronological order show the shifting of time through inflation and technological advancement. The ticket stubs also reveal my personal maturity through each movie selection, ratings, and location. There are plans to continue the series for the rest of my life.
Black and white photography has always been a part of my art making process up until recently. Now I feel that a combination of a few images from different series that I've worked on should be represented here, seeing as my understanding of artistic expression was born out of the analog process.
Over the past year and a half I have been online dating on okcupid and have experienced good dates, made some friends, but nothing real came out of the experience. Along the way I exchanged many text conversations that led me to the receive messages of love, lust, loneliness, confusion, and disgust. Which compelled me to explore the private inner workings of that experience. Leading me to the horrifying truth that in order find any kind of connection one must first go through a sea of unwanted #dickpics. Which were sent without warning or without request. Most women have been flashed in this aggressive manner on multiple occasions while trying to get to know a guy from an online dating site and the work is meant to create a simulation of this overwhelming experience.
While working through layers upon layers of aggressive masculine identity the work morphed into photographic sculptures. The sculptures take on the form of a larger than life, 8x8x8, Valentine's card. The use of the pop-up valentine card is a representation of the desires, hopes, and longing for connection that these dating sites promise. The heart, has been socially constructed to identify with love and romance. In my depiction the sentiments of affection are constructed on the outside while an overwhelming collage of conversations, pictures, and Internet memes take over the foundation of the sculpture. Creating a direct binary between fantasy and reality that makes people uncomfortable.
Romance Projection is a video and performance that was in collaboration with Karen Maranda and her self identifying art practices. Through this reexamination of my one true self, I asked a group her of students to gather around my body and write upon my heart shaped mask, their ideals of love, romance, and relationships expectations. They had 5 minutes to mull over their own perceptions of romantic expectations and were asked to transcribe that image onto my mask. Using the mask as a barrier between my true identity and the ideal of love. By creating this barrier the work, alludes to the veil that covers everyones eyes when they fall in love. But in the end all is reviewed through the reemergence of myself and the all seeing eye. Photos by Jazmin Urrea
Now my art and practice is a combination of three cohesive areas, one of idea creation, execution through directing artist assistants to help complete my vision, and performance. This navigation of time, space, and people has helped me learn to organize and facilitate open dialog with a team of people that can understand that my physical limitations do not define or limit my ability to make art. Within this multifaceted role as an artist, director, and sometimes performer, I have found that the ability to formulate ideas and execute them is not limited to socially constructed ideals of disability. Which is part of the basis of my work at the current moment. Dealing with the inaccessibility of multiple facilities and transitioning from a power chair to a manual chair for physical mobility has changed my ideas of photographies construction and its 2 dimensional plain off existence. I thought that if I can transition, so can I transform art that hovers within the realms of sculpture, photography, and installation. I want to ambiguate the idea of the image in photography from here on out. While changing the way people look and think about photography by forcing it into the third dimension. Which forms a new language between the image, object-hood, collage, and the architecture that it creates and inhabits as an installation. At this point of exploration, I use the pliability of a print to accentuate the forms within the photograph. By allowing the materials to bend, fold, curl, and droop in unconventional ways to create new ways of experiencing a photograph. Choosing images that deal with identity, disability, physical access, and persona. In my latest project, I created a new architecture to transform the space and create a directed art viewing experience that warrants a careful examination. Using vinyl, large format printing and collage I take over space with the portrait of a power wheelchair as an object and its fiery destruction. On the continued path there are large format photographs of my inability to access bathrooms that are labeled handicapped accessible, which is combined with the sexualization of the disabled female body. All of these different areas of collage emanating the idea that " I Am Here" and you, the viewer, are going to reexamine your perceptions of who and what I am. By using offensive language that was found on Wikipedia's list of derogatory terms for people with disabilities, I adhered them to my body and own them as a rejection of there perceived truths. Showing my body out of its wheelchair and within the traditional boudoir photographies dissection of the female form, I break down the stereotype that nullifies the sexuality of the disabled body. By highlighting its sexuality through the use of lingerie and the powerful color red, depicting myself as a woman whose identity goes beyond the wheelchair and my disability. Using the fake tattooed body as a persona who performs without any facial identity. Photos by Jazmin Urrea
Jaklin Romine was born in Burbank, CA in 1985. She now works and lives in Los Angeles after completing her BA in Studio Arts at the California State University of Los Angeles In the winter of 2013. Romine takes photographs, makes mixed media installation, and creates sculptures that explore ideas of the body and self.