W A P P E N F I E L D
Music Composition: Ayelet Rose Gottlieb
July 8th – August 5th, 2012
Opening reception: Thursday, July 12th, 6 – 9pm
BOSI Contemporary is pleased to present Wappen Field, the solo exhibition of New York based artist Michelle Jaffé. In her upcoming project, Jaffé will present a large-scale participatory installation and a series of sculptures, both of which explore the use of armor to mask and shelter the body from interference. Reflecting on the theory of the collective unconscious and mythological truths, Jaffé utilizes a minimalist aesthetic to create work that uniquely questions the interplay between archetypes in socio-cultural structures.
The exhibition title Wappen Field refers to the inaugural New York presentation of Jaffé’s sculpture, sound and light installation. The term Wappen is German for Coat of Arms, a visual symbol of heraldic identification in the Middle Ages. The installation is comprised of 12 chrome-plated steel helmets, resembling face guards suspended from the ceiling. The height of the helmets and the emblem generated from the shadowed lighting on the gallery floor imply the existence of human forms. This is the space that the viewer is meant to occupy in order to fully experience the work. Composed by Ayelet Rose Gottlieb, then reconstructed and manipulated by Jaffé, each Helmet contains a speaker that produces an assortment of male and female vocal sounds. Jaffé later worked with programmer David Reeder on a Super Collider- an algorithmic programming language, to disperse the voices throughout individual helmets, creating dissonance, rhythms and vortexes of sound.
Whereas artists such as Judith Shea and Louise Bourgeois have used clothing to suggest shelter and psychological repair, Jaffé is independent in her use of sound and aesthetic. By allowing the viewer to place him or herself within the helmet and obstructing their field of vision, Jaffé emphasizes sound as the essential element for interpretation.
Michelle Jaffé lives and works in New York, NY. She received her BA in Fine Arts and French Literature from University of East Anglia in England. Her work has been the subject of solo shows in museums and institutions throughout the United States and abroad including: Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids; Rutgers University, New Jersey; Susan Berko Conde Gallery, New York; Broadway Gallery, New York; MoMA PS1, New York; Djerassi, Cologne; 150m3Largus, Cologne; Her work has also appeared in numerous group shows at institutions including: NYFA, New York; ArtWare, New York; Middlebury College Art Museum, Vermont; Lehman College Art Gallery, New York; Bellevue Sculpture Biennial, Washington; Islip Art Museum, Long Island; UC Santa Barbara, California; and Sacred Heart University, Connecticut. Jaffé was awarded two Individual Artist Grants for “Wappen Field” from NYSCA, Fiscal Sponsorship and Artist as Entrepreneur Boot Camp grant from NYFA, Artist-in-Residence to the Computer Music Department at Brooklyn College, and residencies at MacDowell Colony and Djerassi, and grants from Queens Council on the Arts: Peer Leadership and Individual Artist Initiative.