SAIC MFA 2016-2018

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Render the useful- useless, manifestations of Weight, mixing of materials associated with gender role stereotypes.  A monument to the mundane, care, and labor entailed in motherhood, the scale of these pieces will be larger than life.

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Woven Dish Towel Mother Workd IMG_6562.jpg

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Laundry Postcard

Collective Making: Mother Art Revisited

 

Oxbow Residency, Saugatuck, Michigan

Peace and quiet, like minded artists, no kids (except for my professor’s adorable 3 year old), breakfast, lunch, and dinner prepared for you 7 days a week (just come when you hear the bell ring/dessert is served when you hear the rubber chicken squeak), fireplace fires, fires in the snow next to the lagoon, fresh baked cookies and bread everyday, private studio space, hours and hours of critique, spectacular/unapologetic performance art, and dance parties.

While at Oxbow I continued to do dishes and laundry and develop my Mother Work/d kit and instruction manual, edited lots of writing, began to develop works that fuse concrete with domestic items and worked through ideas of weight and balance as they relate to motherhood. I casted pots out of concrete and planted narcissus daffodils in them.

 

 

Things said in relation to my work: weight of Motherhood, motherhood in media, what is real motherhood, performance of doing for another, comfort vs force, being a good bad mother, Semiotics of the Kitchen, Martha Rosler, traditions of gifting, telling vs asking / point vs palm, Denmark/birth box/position of the state, The Gift, Lewis Hyde, my motherhood is a gift, the kid is the gift, gender roles nationally highlighted with co-culture fragments, specificity to A  life, recipient finds places for themselves, instruction book becomes testimony, labor, my labor, others labor, refusal, economic relations/quality of materials/use value/class, when is sentiment ascribed, not your child’s stains

With mixed feelings about coming home and after hugging my kids for almost an hour I broke out into hives and developed a fever! Maybe it was the change in environment, the stress of coming back to reality, leaving the stresses of Oxbow life (yes, there are some!), or maybe it was a delayed reaction to 2 weeks of doing dishes for 50 people. Now, mostly back to normal, I’m sifting through all that happened, processing and determining what to take with me into my thesis writing and exhibition plans.

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Art & Running in Little Village, Neighborhood Archives

Our class has taken many turns as we look for connections between art, running, and empowerment. We spend half of class outdoors, running and/or walking through the neighborhood. Most days students are given a prompt or an activity that asks them to take a closer look at their surroundings as well as their internal feelings (both physical and emotional) while running. We come back to the classroom to do written reflections and to create archives based on that experience. Students are archiving neighborhood color palettes based on colors in their neighborhood, found objects, maps based on their senses (recording all that they heard, smelled, touched, tasted, and saw), watercolor paintings derived from their neighborhood collection and color palettes, and experimented with mark making while running.

We are also experimenting with documenting their experience through the use of GoPro cameras. The cameras are used from the students perspective, usually attached to their bodies (around their neck, strapped to their chest, or hand). The footage captures their sight line and the rhythm of their moving bodies and their comments and conversations on the run. Students also began interviewing each other. As we spent more time in the community with the cameras we began to notice that we see many of the same people working, waiting for the bus, and many of the students’ parents. Students became interested in talking community members. They asked people “What are your family traditions?” and “What do you find beautiful about our community?”We interviewed two Safe Passage workers, one from Telpochcalli and one from Hammond, a women working in a clothing store, someone waiting for the bus, and an owner of a pizza shop on Cermak (who gave us free pizza!!!), and valet drivers from Saint Anthony’s hospital.

We have also just begun our group mapping project. Using google maps as a starting point, students are using projection to outline and accurately map/pinpoint key places we encounter on our run/walks, also to make their own homes. In the coming classes we will be photographing these places and people, and collaging the photographs into our map. Layers of transparencies will overlap the map. Each layer will have drawings and text that map the students’ information gathered from mapping their senses in earlier classes.

 

Parent Programs, Reimagining Our Environment

Real or imagined, where do you feel most calm and at peace? What does it look like, smell like, taste like, feel like? Who is there with you or are you by yourself? What are the sounds that you hear? Parents first drew drafts of their initial ideas, then began making 3d forms out of wire and clay. They used markers to dye and to paint the clay. One of the parents, Silvia, used SnapChat to add animation enhancements to her piece which created a very surreal, magical effect that when viewed as a video made it intriguing and difficult to determine the medium.

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Public Texts, work in progress
lasercut acrylic, mdf, acrylic, photo documentation

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Con Cuidado/Dinner Conversations, work in progress
ceramic, linoleum block print, packing paper, linen, embroidery

Con Cuidado/Dinner Conversations

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Human Rights & Art with Pamela Sneed Fall 2017: Select Writing

Response to Audrey Lorde’s Litany for Survival
BONES OFTEN FELL ONTO THE ROADWAY:
Jessica Mueller
as a teenager, as a girlfriend, as a daughter, as a wife, as a mother,
a resident, a homeowner, as a consumer, and as an observer

I drove past it everyday, sometimes multiple times per day
likely witnessing moments and movements of this horrific crime
never taking notice
until much later
after the unthinkable, after the disgrace, after the damage, the crime scene,
the arrests, the investigations, the testimony

after the gathering and questioning and healing, the returning

that I learned

financial and “other mismanagement” at the cemetery had occurred

1,500 bones at Burr Oak
1,500 bones of at least 29 people sprawled across the grounds
resting place of hundreds of African-Americans
the grassy area known as the “dump”

according to the internet some of the “notable” souls laid to rest at Burr Oak Cemetery include
Albert Williamson, James Kokomo Arnold, Lexie Bigham, Ezzard Charles, George “Sonny” Cohn, Jimmie Crutchfield, Willie Dixon, John Donaldson, Jodie Edwards, Blind Leroy Garnett, Carl Augustus Hansberry, Big Walter Horton, Edward Giles Irvin, Inman Jackson, Roberta Martin, St. Louis Jimmy Oden, Graham T. Perry, Otis Spann, James A. “Candy Jim” Taylor, Bishop William M. Roberts, Dinah Washington, Billy Williams, J. Mayo Williams, Frank Reed

and Emmett Till

a place for reflection
the great migration
for families finding solace
rich in history
for honoring the past
fabric of the community

for Emmett Till
his original coffin was to be saved for a memorial
it was found in a cemetery garage
surrounded by trash
filled with possums

a skull in a Home Depot shopping bag
bones scattered in weeds
hidden under grassy mounds
and a mulberry bush

other skeletal fragments
including a jaw with its teeth intact

lying out in the open
pieces of caskets
pieces of concrete vaults
I drove past it everyday
until I learned.


Wash Cycle, Ongoing, Experimentation in Video & Daily Life
This is a still of one of many videos of my family’s laundry, yet another instance of mother/ artist collision. As I struggle to keep up on both roles I’m discovering that some of my most generative work is created while trying to do both. All videos are shot on my iPhone while I try to be inconspicuous. With each new iteration I’m experimenting with what is in the wash (including curtains, dishcloths, and washcloths from the Mother Work/d kits), and ambient sound of multiple machines running, people talking, kids playing, tv novelas, and the local noticias.


LOVE<3 by Alexandra Munguia-Mueller; Collaboration, Consent, & Ownership with Children
This is a photo of my studio space at SAIC during the summer 2017 residency after I invited my children in to see my space for a whole 15 minutes. Growing up with and artist for a mother, my kids are not shy around materials or in artist spaces. My son curiously looked through my Mother Work/d kits while my daughter went straight for the paint and sponge, looked to me to give her the go ahead and went for it.

This has me asking
1) What does it mean to have a child’s work in professional/academic spaces?
2) How can I collaborate with my children as true partners with their consent, allowing them to have ownership during the process?

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Mother Work/d, Ongoing
Documentation of a current project, Mother Work/d. Mother Work/d activates the language used in my home, drawing inspiration from the Fluxus Movement. It is a mail art kit complete with an instruction manual that will be distributed to other mothers. Embroidered words and phrases adorn brightly colored washcloths, scrubbing in or off, or gently wiping away our values and realities. Bold floral patterns and feminist quotes decorate curtains and dish towels representing integral work ordinarily thought to be best accomplished when it goes unseen. Combining these domestic items with language forms connections between function and language that conveys loving iterations and gritty realities of single parenting.


Teaching in Chicago Public Schools (CPS): Ongoing Parent & Youth Arts Integration Programing
I am an arts educator currently working in CPS schools George Washington High School (East Chicago neighborhood) and Telpochcalli Elementary School (Little Village). I co-plan, and co-teach with other artists and CPS teachers, integrating my studio practice, the teacher’s practice and interests, with the interests and needs of the students.

Planning for the 2017-2018 school year is underway. Classes will include:
1) Art+Running for middle schoolers in Little Village (Co-Teacher, Maria Nava)
2) Activating Our Environment/Activando Nuestra Entorno for parents in Little Village (Co-Teacher, Jackie Gongora)
3) Community Engagement & Parent Empowerment through Art Making in East Chicago (Co-Teachers, Ellen Tritschler and Paulmira Perez)


¡Hablo Espanol!: Exploration of Language, Translation, & Relationships
Through writing and book making I am investigating my experience as a bilingual mother/family/educator/person. !Hablo Espanol! is my first attempt to translate these experiences into a tangible object. This is an ongoing project that I am incorporating into my practice.


SAIC Winter Painting Institute / Painting in Motherhood

I’ve spent the past 3 weeks experimenting- investigating how painting fits into my practice. I’ve painted on canvas, on panels, on cutting boards, and on bandaids… painting and scrubbing away layers of paint with hand towels, sponges and dish soap… adding dish soap to paint- rewetting and reworking surfaces. Now the winter term is over and my paintings are at home I will continue to rework surfaces, experiment with household products as paint additives, and document the process.
Some of the artists that I’ve been looking at this term: Kevin Appel, Lucio Fontana, David Carson, Agnus Martin, Jonathan Rosan, Kay Rosen, Robert Ryman, Eva Hesse, Alighiero E Boetti, Alberto Burri, Moholy-Nagy, Beatriz Mihazes, Carmen Herrera, Bridget Riley, Lisa Haller Baggesen, Candida Alverez, Sophie Taggart, Alan Kaprow, Mary Kelly, Duchamp, Rudolf Stingel, Amanda Ross Ho, and Chris Martin.

Motherhood: Weight and Repetition

Oxbow Residency, Saugatuck, Michigan

Peace and quiet, like minded artists, no kids (except for my professor’s adorable 3 year old), breakfast, lunch, and dinner prepared for you 7 days a week (just come when you hear the bell ring/dessert is served when you hear the rubber chicken squeak), fireplace fires, fires in the snow next to the lagoon, fresh baked cookies and bread everyday, private studio space, hours and hours of critique, spectacular/unapologetic performance art, and dance parties.

While at Oxbow I continued to do dishes and laundry and develop my Mother Work/d kit and instruction manual, edited lots of writing, began to develop works that fuse concrete with domestic items and worked through ideas of weight and balance as they relate to motherhood. I casted pots out of concrete and planted narcissus daffodils in them.

Things said in relation to my work: weight of Motherhood, motherhood in media, what is real motherhood, performance of doing for another, comfort vs force, being a good bad mother, Semiotics of the Kitchen, Martha Rosler, traditions of gifting, telling vs asking / point vs palm, Denmark/birth box/position of the state, The Gift, Lewis Hyde, my motherhood is a gift, the kid is the gift, gender roles nationally highlighted with co-culture fragments, specificity to A  life, recipient finds places for themselves, instruction book becomes testimony, labor, my labor, others labor, refusal, economic relations/quality of materials/use value/class, when is sentiment ascribed, not your child’s stains

With mixed feelings about coming home and after hugging my kids for almost an hour I broke out into hives and developed a fever! Maybe it was the change in environment, the stress of coming back to reality, leaving the stresses of Oxbow life (yes, there are some!), or maybe it was a delayed reaction to 2 weeks of doing dishes for 50 people. Now, mostly back to normal, I’m sifting through all that happened, processing and determining what to take with me into my thesis writing and exhibition plans.

IMG_1139.jpg


SAIC Winter Painting Institute / Painting in Motherhood

I’ve spent the past 3 weeks experimenting- investigating how painting fits into my practice. I’ve painted on canvas, on panels, on cutting boards, and on bandaids… painting and scrubbing away layers of paint with hand towels, sponges and dish soap… adding dish soap to paint- rewetting and reworking surfaces. Now the winter term is over and my paintings are at home I will continue to rework surfaces, experiment with household products as paint additives, and document the process.
Some of the artists that I’ve been looking at this term: Kevin Appel, Lucio Fontana, David Carson, Agnus Martin, Jonathan Rosan, Kay Rosen, Robert Ryman, Eva Hesse, Alighiero E Boetti, Alberto Burri, Moholy-Nagy, Beatriz Mihazes, Carmen Herrera, Bridget Riley, Lisa Haller Baggesen, Candida Alverez, Sophie Taggart, Alan Kaprow, Mary Kelly, Duchamp, Rudolf Stingel, Amanda Ross Ho, and Chris Martin.

11/30/16 Art Ideas Final Project Draft
I’m experimenting with concepts of site specificity within my own work, specifically functional art objects that are made to be household items and household items that are transformed into art objects. I will create an instruction manual and kit that zooms out from my personal interaction and experience with my work and makes it transferable to others. The booklet will guide the reader through how to effectively display and use each piece in their home in a manner that initiates reparative interactions.

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Mother Words: Washcloths, Jessica Mueller, 2016 (work in progress)


Mother Words, Jessica Mueller, 2016 (work in progress)

Cloth Napkins & Kitchen Towels, Jessica Mueller, 2016 (work in progress)


Dirty Laundry, Jessica Mueller, 2016 (work in progress


Untitled & Unfinished, Jessica Mueller, 2016


Mural Sketches for Jahn Elementary, 2016

Teaching


Other People’s Art That I’m Interested In

Studio Images

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