In the three photographic series that comprise Jessika Miekeley`s exhibition American Framing, images appear less as landscapes, portraits or objects captured than evocations of inchoate ideas and the emotive mind. A coat on a chair assumes the qualities of the body, without a body to fill it. A figure contemplates a landscape, but neither the specifics of human character nor the peculiar import of the scenery are the points of focus. Rather, this work has a wholly conceptual presence, wherein the slightest misalignments of folded cloth or night`s saturated darkness describe qualities of absence, isolation and the inutterable vicissitudes of thought. Like Roland Barthes definition of "myth", these photographs are not about objects recognizable by their common name and purpose, but by the way they "utter" ineffable messages.
The various jackets that rest half-slack, half-erect in a plain chair in a stripped studio in the series Jacket take on acute human nuance despite being emptied of a body. Often seen from behind the chair`s back (the top rim of the back of the chair makes for a kind of horizon line), the articles can only be observed through the attitude of a collar, the implications of fragmented fabric, and the notion of occasional clothing. A gray knitted sweater slumps, hangs and withdraws at the waist, its open neck loose and widened by wear. A red fleece pull-over with a stiff collar seems resolute and attentive, the bold color and angled neck-line suggesting a firm directional gaze. A fur coat sit in soft, dark-hued piles -- a frayed tear in its next exposes raw leather skin suggesting something both opulent and basely animal.
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St Louis, MO