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Mapping the Exploding Whale:




A Preview of Jessica Sarah Rinland’s Exhibition

‘Dissecting the Exploding Whale’


[1]In our present cultural domain (‘artistically’ speaking), one is continually reminded of what Deleuze & Guattari refer to as “tracing”. Within the arts, an apparent forlorn struggle, to create ‘anew’ or fashion artworks from the elevated remnants of post-modernity, is all too familiar. Subsequently, such meaningful forms (limited as they are), leftover or deemed significant enough to have been accepted and in turn promoted by the current institutions of power, are perpetually adapted, borrowed and renewed by artists; and in doing so, this familiar process primarily makes up our skilfully ‘traced’, largely recognisable, cultural surroundings. Nonetheless, my attention is still occasionally triggered by valiant attempts to destabilise commonly held perceptions within the customary art practices. Therefore, switching focus onto a potential, more tangible chosen example and its related framework – an instance of this, could be the construction of a work by an artist(s), which in some way aims at seeking a type of concord between what are generally assumed (correct or otherwise) to be disparate themes, treatments or subjects. By my judgement, an act of this sort would generally merit, at the very least, a preliminary consideration.

One such artist, seeking to develop or simply examine through her creative practice, a ‘stem’ linked with accordance, is Jessica Sarah Rinland. By deploying, the comparatively unhelpful, prevailing arborescent, binary formulated classification of: object/subject; “tree/root” allegories, which are the contemporary arts (gallery intended in this case). Structured by this arrangement, Rinland could, to a large extent be described as a film maker. Nonetheless, her stylistic approach, inquisitiveness and flexibility as a practitioner operating within this realm of creative expression, has allowed her a greater range of inventive scope. Additionally, through her practice, this expressive intrigue has provided an ability to negotiate a sense of individuality, despite the restrictive nature of the intuitionally controlled and formulated structures, which are our established, globalised contemporary arts.

Coming from both a fine art and film producing background, these disciplines, often viewed separately, have been embraced through her creative development and provide a distinctive outlook in the creation of her work. This has allowed her films, writings and other visual ‘pieces’, to adequately subsist equally in the gallery and within more customary cinematic environments.

Her recent practice has culminated in a soon to open exhibition of her work, entitled Dissecting the Exploding Whale; to be held at Limbo in Margate. This work is due to be displayed in two darkened, subdivided spaces. In these areas the work will however, be encouraged to coexist – and to a degree – merge, thematically, visually and poetically inside the space. The artist’s presented creations will be made up of projected film footage (both found archival and original recordings); slide projections, texts and audio. Taking the form of an installation(s), the physical duality of the space is intended to balance with other structural multiplicities: media, treatment, forms, themes etc. As in much of Rinland’s previous work, an intention to examine oppositionals and present plausible unities, or certainly a resolution between them, is planned to feature strongly in this show.

Our shared natural environment will consequently be both adapted, utilised and through this work, our cohabitants (the whale) are properly considered. This process of contemplation will allow the work to be brought into a fine art situation; found inside a contemporary, post-industrial art space.

In this instance, I deem a concept of deconstruction, to be the most satisfactory terminology used in describing what this process of unification might be. Through this perceived approach of a physical/thematic deconstruction of an idea – i.e. a film and its research/source materials – and presenting the resulting work(s) in a manner that suggests the artist is attempting to bring together contrasting subjects and topics – such as fact fiction, human animal, science art – the objective here therefore, is to exhibit this amalgamation in a coherent and engaging way. In doing so, perhaps there might also be parallels drawn between the artist’s own willingness to explore, deconstruct and experiment – and the decision to position her practice in a relatively uncharted situation; presenting the work in a somewhat unfamiliar surrounding? Plus, the need to examine these mysterious, captivating mammals may too be allied to the artist’s own compulsion to dissect her own practice against some of today’s established, categorised forms of artistic expression. In this sense, a type of enigmatic exploration appears to me, to be an ever present aspect of Rinland’s work.

A map has multiple entryways, as opposed to the tracing, which always comes back "to the same."[2]

Returning to Deleuze & Guattari’s rhizomatic formulation which began this text, it is encouraging to witness an attempt through artistic expression to map, and not simply trace a suitable ‘course’. The freedom Rinland may well find on a chosen theoretically generated plateau, operating and positioned along interconnected lines of traverse, is a commendable prospect.

Whether any innovative, creative map is devised will naturally remain to be seen. However I consider the prospect of witnessing these endeavours, in such a potentially intriguing work, worth discovering.



Jessica Sarah Rinland

Dissecting the Exploding Whale


Limbo, 2 Bilton Square, High Street, Margate CT9 1EE

5-27 October 2013

Open Friday – Sunday 12-5pm

Private View 4 Oct 6-9pm

[1] This article makes direct reference to, and its source material is largely formulated by, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s text A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. The ‘Introduction: Rhizome’, and their concept the “Rhizome” is of particular interest here.

[2] Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, ‘Introduction: Rhizome’, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis: London, 1987), p. 12.

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