A small embroidery ring morphs into geometric heavy steel shapes. A large wet black and white photograph is draped and compressed into a sculptural sphere, a photograph rests horizontally supporting a constellation of delicate glass objects. part of the equation is an exhibition that hinges on cerebral games that deliberately rely on human play – a knowing appreciation that making by hand brings mindful thinking to the conceptual table.
The photographs, sculptures, videos and installations have their origins in a medical museum established in 1787, which is especially echoed in several human-sized handmade silver gelatin prints – antiquated analogue photographs in a digital age. Since Hippocrates, silver has been associated with healing, but today antibiotics have replaced its medical use; although, a very human reluctance to surrender the idea of silver’s healing properties, has led to ongoing research into its clinical potential. Andrea Jespersen’s interest in medical museums relates to the simple fact that we all have some personal lived knowledge about the subject matter – opening the door for us, with our experiences, to query what human knowledge our society chooses to venerate.
The knowledge of craftswomen, like the glassmakers or patchworks made by mums, are presented in the exhibited works on an equal footing with the cerebral pursuits of academia that the photographs reflect. Curiosity-driven sciences like physics and neuroscience seep into both concepts and titles. There is no revolution in sight, perhaps ins tead a utopian wish to flatten the hierarchy of knowledge – building bridges between all knowledge, especially those missing academic labels.
part of the equation is the final exhibition in a trilogy that began with the exhibition Human Silver Halo at Medical Museion in Copenhagen (Denmark), followed by Mind Circles at BALTIC’s project room in Newcastle upon Tyne. The large-scale silver gelatin prints were all made during an artist residency at the Danish Art Workshops,Copenhagen, Denmark.
Andrea Jespersen is a graduate from the Royal College of Art and part of the equation celebrates the culmination of a practice based PhD at Northumbria University. Her research focuses on art grounded in conceptual deliberations that incorporate handmade methods. She lives and works in London.