Wk 11: Artist conversation: Caryn Aasness

Artist: Caryn Aasness

Exhibition: Waste of Time Waste of Time Waste of Time

Media: Fiber, weaving, yarn

Gallery: Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery

Website: None

Instragram: @levelyellowproblemchild

Caryn Aasness is a current CSULB student in her lasts semester and is pursuing a Degree in Fine Arts; Textile. In the future she hopes to continue to work with art and be able to show case her ideas and views of the world through art. She would like to work with design text or wall paper in the future. The art of weaving; which is exhibited in her installation, was learned here at CSULB through a class she took 2 years ago.

The gallery has its doors opened and natural light along with the white light bulbs illuminated the gallery. On all sides are hanging weaved tapestries. They range from small pieces; about 1ft x 2ft to larger pieces of about 5ft x 5 ft. All the pieces are very colorful and vibrant. If you look straight into the gallery you see one of the larger pieces hanging that has the words “To call it cute is to mis-understand” This is the only tapestry that has a visible word on it. For all other pieces there is a hidden spelled out message weaved into it. The insert next to each of the tapestries reveal the message. They are a mixture of simple lullaby lyrics, quotes, and sayings that we use. Caryn did not have a typical name for her installation. Instead of having a statement with a title she decided to weave the name of the installation and have people decipher it for themselves. Valeria Gonzalez, Linney Sar and myself took our time to decipher this message. Caryn let us know that each color represented a letter and the letters of the alphabet were formatted one letter to each column. The number of rows would vary by however many words were included in the message. After several attempts at deciphering the installations title we finally resulted with “Waste of time Waste of time Waste of time” We verified this with Caryn and she confirmed our message. Along with a secret message tapestry, near the entrance there was a large paper that was a map of emotions felt towards the gallery. Its starts off with position # 1 that reads “Weaving is a vehicle for color, color is a vehicle for language, language is a vehicle for ideas” it then asks you a question with 3 options to direct you what is the next step that you should read on this chart. The destinations on this chart are related to the motions felt about the installation. There are several destinations on this chart; some are veered towards those who do not quite find the installations meaning, and some are veered towards those who seem to relate to the messages of the art work and can find a correlation between the sayings and their own personal life.

When I first walked into this gallery I did immediately try to find a meaning behind it, I hardly read the destinations chart and quickly moved on to the tapestries. Obviously because I did this I did not understand the installation right away. I somewhat had an idea of what to do by watching a fellow classmate trying to make out the word on the insert of one of the tapestries. I then returned to the destination chart and understood that I first needed to spend some time with the tapestry and see their inserts and try to make out the sentence of each. After having done so, I found the sentences and read the chart and proceeded to speak to Caryn Aasness. She confirmed what I had been thinking about the installation. Caryn said that her installation was about looking into things with patience and trying to find a deeper meaning that what just meets the eye. The installation came from her views that society does not take time with seeing truth behind things. We are quick to judge, quick to give up, quick to see and then move on quickly. Through her installation she tries to make people go through what some may find uncommon and uncomfortable and tries to make us spend time on trying to develop a meaning behind things. But most importantly not only does she make us work for the piece right in from of our eyes she also forces us to find the connection between one tapestry and the next. After she does this she wanted to have people address their emotions and feeling through the destination chart and bring her journey of color, language and art to a culmination of emotions found through art. Caryn said that the actual making of the art pieces took a long time; about 20 hours each piece and she hopes along the way that someone would reflect on that and learn to appreciate the value of someone spending such a great amount of time  on creating something. She ended out conversation by saying that there is always something to find if you are just willing to spend the time looking.

I literally felt a sense of happiness when I walked into the gallery. The colors and sizes of the tapestries made me feel joy and drew me in. But when I read each insert I was confused and I didn’t know what I was quite looking at. It was after mimicking one of my classmates that I understood that the inserts were coded in the tapestry themselves. After reading each tapestry I decide on my favorite one titled PalahNiuk which read “Nothing of me is original I am the combined efforts of everyone I have ever known” I had heard this quote before and I feel like as you go about life you meet people who change you, it’s not to say that you aren’t your own person but in reality so much of who you are is because of others. Since we are little kids we are instilled with certain morals and views and it’s through our efforts that we express these characteristics. But along the way we sometimes meet people who hurt us and others who fix us and we change for better and sometimes for the worse. So I believe this quote to be very true. I did find a connection between the inserts because I saw them as steps of life. I think they were all sayings that we have either grown up with or said ourselves about life situations. Finally after reading her main insert; destination chart I followed it and it brought me to the final destination which read” Existing structures can be uncomfortable to live within. It is comforting to know that others also question the structures. Let’s be uncomfortable together” I like my final stop, I think I can definitely relate to it and I do agree with her; as long as you not totally alone then it’s ok. But overall I know the message of the installation was to spend time on something ad not to just give things a quick look. I think as or society grows with technology and we get caught up with making money and consumption; we often forget to look around and find true meaning behind things. After realizing this in the gallery I did take a look at the tapestry and appreciated her work. Some pieces were very large and I can just imagine how much detail and delicate skill went into them. I think many of us have forgotten to appreciate and value hard work like this, this installation it was a nice reminder to look around and make the time to feel.

seeking meaning



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