Wk 11 – Artist Conversation – Caryn Aasness

Exhibition Information

Artist: Caryn Aasness

Exhibition: Waste of Time, Waste of Time, Waste of Time

Media: Yarn

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dr.Maxine Merlino Gallery

Website: N/A

Instagram: levelyellowproblemchild

About the Artist

Caryn Aasness is currently in her senior year at CSULB. She is pursuing her BFA in the School of Art’s Fiber program. Currently, Aasness is unsure of her career path, but she would like to attend graduate school. Caryn’s grandmother is the reason why she knows how to sew. Also, Caryn does not like structure which is why she choose her exhibit to have a certain structure to it in order to challenge herself.

Formal Analysis 

Upon entering the exhibition, one is greeted by a very large and colorful weaving with the words “to call it cute is to misunderstand” stitched onto the weaving. This particular piece is in the opposite side of the door. There are other colorful cloth pieces made out of yarn on the east and west wall. At first glance, their color scheme looks identical, but they are in fact different. There are some pieces that are shaped like a rectangle and some that have more of a triangle shape. Next to each picture is a key that contains what seems to be a pile of random words. Each piece, no matter the vertical size, is made out of 26 squares going horizontal. Each square represents a letter of the alphabet. There is a quote “written” on each of the pieces if one reads from top to bottom. Also, each piece has fringes at the bottom that are also made out of yarn.

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Content Analysis

In her work, Aasness explores the idea of spending time on something in order fully grasp it’s full meaning and value. Upon entering the exhibition, it would appear that there is not much to the pieces except for their colorful aesthetics. However, if one takes the time to look at the key, one will find that there is quote written on each piece. In a way, Aasness created a language of her own that requires one to spend some time looking at it in order to grasp its’ full meaning. By simply looking at it, one does not know that there is a piece that says ” Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I have ever known”. Aasness also hoped to highlight the fact that we tend to ignore and undervalue textiles because they are all around us. Thus, all of these ideas tie back to the name of her exhibition: Waste of Time. There are some people that consider spending a little bit trying to figure out something to be a waste of time.

Synthesis/ My Experience

As soon as I walked into the exhibition, my eyes were treated to feast of color. The textiles all looked very pretty and aesthetically pleasing. Then I read Caryn’s statement and I realized that I had to decipher the messages on each of the pieces. That is why I decided to go back and decipher the messages, but I couldn’t really figure it out. Then, I went and listened to her talk about her pieces and that’s when I started to understand how to decipher the messages. Finally, Linney told me how to read the messages and I finally figured it out. Deciphering the messages was loads of fun and the phrases reminded me of my days in elementary school. Also, Claudia, Linney and I had a fun yet a bit of a frustrating time trying to decode the exhibition’s title. This was a little bit time consuming since we did not have a key, but that that was the whole point! I must say it felt satisfying to have worked for the name of the exhibition. I definitely feel that our society is so fast paced that it often hinders us from spending time on some things in life. Overall, I really enjoyed this exhibition as it reminded me to slow down and smell the roses.

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