Jun 26th 2021

Jaclyn Jacunski: Burning Oneself Out

@ Tiger Strikes Asteroid

2233 S Throop St, Unit 419, Chicago IL 60608

Opening Saturday, June 26th, from 12PM - 4PM

On view through Saturday, June 26th

Tiger Strikes Asteroid Chicago is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of work by Jaclyn Jacunski that will run May 15 through June 26, 2021. On Saturday, June 26, 2021, we will celebrate with a closing reception from 12–4 pm. This will be open to the public, as will be the open hours on Saturdays, but attendance will be limited and visitors will need to make an appointment in advance in order to visit the gallery.

The title of this exhibition, Burning Oneself Out, comes from a poem by the lesbian feminist, Adrienne Rich. The poet writes of staring intensely into a flame, perceiving that it gives its all until it is no more, as she considers how inspiration and personal power stem from the need to both create and rebel.

Jaclyn Jacunski’s work engages with similar themes as she grapples with changing perceptions of truth. In this installation, mirrors laser-cut with a chain-link pattern reference the limitations of our relationships to space and to one another, despite our ability to see through them, upsetting viewers’ expectations of a single image as their reflections are subtly rearranged. The mirrors upset the viewer’s expectation of a single image as their reflection is subtly rearranged. Light refracts off the mirrors across the room with the awe of sublime disco light, as piles of The New York Times from 2020 and 2021, annotated with deletions, edits, and erasures, litter the floor.

The installation responds to the past year of uncertainty and the attendant desires to secure and to stabilize since the pandemic began. Through the rendering of slight discomforts, the work reveals the contradictions and uncertainties of our complex entanglements with broken systems and institutions. Jacunski responds to a public life in which citizens and authority watch each other with omnipresent gazes, through an ever-increasing number of lenses, creating a blur of views, voices, evidence, surveillance, and propaganda—how can we discern truth through this complex amalgam of facts, fictions, and partial truths? How does one remain whole? The reflection of the mirrors invites reflection by viewers and suggests that by moving beyond our perceptual expectations, we might find wholeness and repair.

To “burn out” refers to emotional and mental exhaustion, whereas “burning oneself out” implies the choice to draw internally on one’s own raw power. This exhibition celebrates the burning of an ancient fire within that has been passed on by the ancestors for inspiration to create, empower, and purify.

* * *
Burning Oneself Out
by Adrienne Rich

We can look into the stove tonight
as into a mirror, yes,
the serrated log, the yellow-blue gaseous core
the crimson-flittered grey ash, yes.
I know inside my eyelids
and underneath my skin
Time takes hold of us like a draft
upward, drawing at the heats
in the belly, in the brain
You told me of setting your hand
into the print of a long-dead Indian
and for a moment, I knew that hand,
that print, that rock,
the sun producing powerful dreams

A word can do this
or, as tonight, the mirror of the fire
of my mind, burning as if it could go on
burning itself, burning down
feeding on everything
till there is nothing in life
that has not fed that fire

Jaclyn Jacunski is an interdisciplinary artist who exhibits both locally and nationally. She earned her MFA from SAIC and BFA from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and she has taught at SAIC and Harrington College of Design. Her practice stems from involvement in social and political causes and the search to find understanding in political controversies that surround the land and community acts of resistance.

Jacunski was a BOLT artist-in-residence at the Chicago Artists Coalition, and she has exhibited at the Institutes of Contemporary Art in both Portland and Baltimore. Her work has been featured in the Chicago Tribune and Hyperallergic.

The gallery will be open to the public by appointment on Saturdays May 15, May 22, May 29, June 5, June 12, June 19, and June 26, from 12-4pm, and we will do our best to accommodate requests beyond those hours. To schedule an appointment to visit the exhibition, please visit our online calendar. Questions or requests to schedule appointments outside our normal hours can be sent to: chicago@tigerstrikesasteroid.com
The number of visitors per half-hour slot will be limited to 2 people in order to allow for the recommended social distancing. Masks must be worn at all times in the building. Upon entering Mana Contemporary, please use the touchless temperature scanner, check in at the front desk. The TSA gallery is located on the 4th floor, and it can be reached via an attendant-operated elevator or the stairs.

For more info or images contact: tigerstrikesasteroidchicago@gmail.com

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