I find myself simultaneously drawn to and repelled by the sheer quantity of man-made objects in this world.
Do you know what I mean?
To start off the experiment that is Jessica Williams' one year exhibition at House of Foundation, she presents three installations of recent artists' books, a site-specific wall painting, and a reading room with titles from Good Press.
Artists' books, at their best, are a medium like no other. Piles of paper are transformed through repurposed obsolete office technology and the human hand into artworks in and of themselves. The container and content are one: accessible to both the creator and consumer. From seemingly nothing special emerges an affordable, intimate and tactile object that you can hold in your hands, stow away in your pocket or under an arm, and consume equally well in public or in utmost secrecy. What else is so portable and free, full of determination and vision, and mutable enough to both embrace and break conventions? Free of targeted advertisements and mindless scrolling, artists' books are a physical reminder of the vast, complex and sensual world from which they derive.
Made for the opening exhibition at the National Museum, this work is a meditation upon physical prints, the past, the future, and artistic value. Fill out a card, make a book.
Reimagining the data center as mycelium, 2021
A multifaceted work reimagines and draws lines between a proposed Google data center in a forest in Grenland and complex underground webs of mycelium, both of which are simultaneously gargantuan yet hidden from view and thus difficult for humans to grasp the sheer size of.
The physical presentation of the non-book part of this work has changed every time it has been exhibited. The current iteration recycles a large scale vinyl print last shown at the 2022 Vårutstilling paired with abstracted 3D-prints of mushrooms grown by the artist.
It me, 2019
A subjective survey of online identity politics in a format we all have a personal relationship to. Sit down, relax, and deep dive with me into a decade worth of screenshots.
Jessica Williams (b. 1986, Anchorage) is a conceptual artist and publisher whose vast practice hinges on the act of seeing. Her works, often collective and collaborative, beg the audience to reconsider that what they do not or cannot see in their everyday lives. She has worked with everything from self-publishing and experimental artist books to photography and virtual reality, and is especially interested in intimate and haptic experiences.
Lately, Williams has worked with an experimental exhibition that spans over an entire calendar year at House of Foundation in Moss and is concerned with publishing, community, and identity. She has previously worked with strange bits of ocean plastic foraged in the inner Oslofjord that look like bits of real rock, and investigated the connection between mycelium and data centers: both of which are gigantic, invisible and affect us more than we know.
The publications and works in this exhibition were made thanks to the financial support of Fritt Ord, Grafill, Nasjonalmuseet and Arts and Culture Norway: Project Support and the Pilot for the distribution and display of artists' books.