About the Artist
This week, I was able to meet (and converse) with artist Jane Weibel. I almost missed her while talking to the professor, but was able to meet her while she was working on school assignments. She is completing her final year while currently working toward her BFA degree in the School of Art’s Ceramics Program. Weibel is a strong supporter of women’s equality and rights, and uses her artwork to showcase women’s struggles and inequalities in today’s society.
Upon entering the gallery, viewers are greeted with a variety of pieces. The pieces are scattered throughout the whole gallery (usually shared between two artists) and are composed with numerous different materials. Many of the pieces are done in ceramic and are stone/boulder-like in shape. There are also photographs, presumably, of women of different ethnicities under, tied to, or on top of the boulder sculptures. There is also a big box-like piece in the corner of the gallery. This piece is done mainly with cut-up plastic material- mainly laundry baskets and containers. On the side of the wall, there is a pile of confetti.
Weibel’s work is supposed to represent the struggles and unfairness of women. It represents her anger towards the objectification and silence of the inequality women face all around the world. Many of the pieces show the hardships that women endure and the many “stuck between a hard place and a rock” situations that they experience. The biggest piece, the plastic cage symbolizes the “cage” that many women are subject to- housework and the caretaker role. The baskets are cut up into a cage shape to show that many women are stuck with this role and expectations of being the housekeeper and this submissive position to men.
Synthesis / My Experience
I think that this was one of the pieces that stuck with me a lot, albeit not being able to really display that in my writing. To be honest, I walked into the gallery and was immediately confused at what the exhibition was supposed to be about. However, after reading the artist’s statement and talking to our professor, I then understood what this gallery was supposed to represent. I think that I can understand the frustrations of Weibel, especially being in a very conservative Korean family. The role of woman is very obvious: the housekeeper who must be submissive to man. Many women have their voices taken from them, their rights stripped away, and their liberties stolen. However, I think through Weibel’s works, many women can get, even if a little, some of those treasures back and bring light to the injustice that many women face today.