Jen Bockelman’s multi-media exhibit weaves together currents in life’s found objects, opening Feb. 10, from 6-9 p.m. at Project Project. Her Installations and collages continue her exploration of a Nebraska identity imagined from not only ordinary social means but, “the accidental narratives that we leave in recycling bins, in the trash, or at the thrift store.”
Bockelman is interested in this “play between the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves, Not who we are, but who we tell ourselves we are. In this way we are…perpetrating a facet of regional identity by repeating it to each other and by passing the story down to our children.”
For example, she said Nebraskans tell themselves they are hard-working, generous, friendly. The story or narrative is then reinforced and retold so that it seems as though it’s always been that way.
“I mean, just look at the way people take care of each other after floods or tornados,” Bockelman said. “We believe in the story enough that we can say that if we run into a Nebraskan on a trip to another country, we feel a kinship and understanding that this person shares some traits, some values. And I love that this is one of our stories.”
The artist’s mix of sculpture, text, sound and collage also explores the “imaginary” that might rise from our detritus if it had agency. What story might they tell if left to their own devices and how would they reflect or refute Nebraskan’s purposeful identity and narrative.
Bockelman’s solo exhibit at Project Project opens Feb. 10 from 6-9 p.m. For more details and gallery hours go to instagram.com/weareprojectproject/?hl=en.