WEST GALLERY May 2019 to June 2019 EXHIBITION DESCRIPTION installation by Jen Bockelman MEDIUM Installation Philosopher Charles Taylor speaks of communities as "social imaginaries", or "the ways people imagine their social existence, how they fit together with others, how things go on between them and their fellows". In further reading, he talks about communities as continually invented entities, though we imagine them to be hypostatized. We Midwesterners tell ourselves that we are thrifty and generous and friendly and honest through our stories, objects, and images, which are then reified through repetition. Nice stories get printed on barn wood in beautiful script, or are told at the end of the local evening news. The not-so-nice stories come in the comment threads. This exhibition is a fanciful exploration of narrative by detritus. The installations and collages are a result of wondering what it would be like to give space to a temporary imagining of beings who have invented themselves from things given away in a spirit of generosity. Artist Statement Located in Seward, Nebraska, Jennifer Bockelman addresses themes of power and cultural identity as filtered through language. She is interested in the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves through our cast-offs. Bockelman’s practice includes stitched works, drawings, impotent political gestures, and performances. Bockelman received an MFA from the University of Colorado, Boulder in sculpture. Her artwork has been shown at BMOCA in Boulder, Irontail Gallery in Denver, Zhou B Art Center in Chicago, and in various locations throughout the Midwest and internationally.