Friday, April 10, 2015

MFA Candidate: Jess Machacek

Jess Machacek says her work “all started with . . . noticing materials that have been made and are supposed to imitate the natural world . . . thinking about constructed nature and constructed landscapes. I started playfully pulling from the absurdities of things that are mass produced, rocks with spray paint, fake plants, and all the textures that people use to museumify our interior and exterior spaces.”

For her show at the museum, she is creating an installation derived from a greenhouse she created for her exit show at the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center. She took these ideas of manmade and constructed nature to create pieces that exemplify the irony of taming nature for our own satisfaction. From the greenhouse piece, she made plaster molds of the windows and created a floor with the same footprint. White astroturf, white handmade rocks, white plaster window molds and a yellow hose are all incorporated.

“So much of it is about the look and the show; my original thoughts within the greenhouse were to stage it in a way that felt like a showroom. A greenhouse is supposed to be a container for keeping things alive and for natural things, like an artificial kingdom,” explains Machacek.

There is so much that humans do to the natural world to contain it and use it for their benefit. The desire to control nature has been present throughout history and into today’s world. Harnessing the idea of the man-made, man-ufactured, and man-ipulated, she intends for her piece to come across as a set-up utilizing the showroom aesthetic.

To see Machacek’s work for yourself visit the “Master of Fine Arts Degree Candidates Exhibition” at the Georgia Museum of Art from April 11 to May 3, 2015.

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