Jeanne Silverthorne Interview in Bomb Magazine (1990)
From the archives: a 1990 interview between Jeanne Silverthorne and Saul Ostrow on Bomb Magazine.
Here is an excerpt:
“Saul Ostrow: The position some of us, as artists, find ourselves in is one of being overly conscious of an incredible number of details: whom we address, how we address them, what we want to say, what the context of our statement is…
Jeanne Silverthorne: I’m trying to contextualize.
SO: And what do you mean by that? (laughter)
JS: You want me to answer that?
SO: I think that is what your work’s about.
JS: It wasn’t an example pulled out of a hat?
SO: Your new pieces, like this installation, take visual metaphors familiar to modernism like the primitive fertility figures and use the seduction of their familiarity, and the seduction of the images, to somehow contextualize another reading. Putting a fertility figure on the floor like some cripple and then putting a photograph next to it, you get the black and white photo to read as realism, but it’s not. It’s a kind of bringing things back to their place, in the real world.
JS: So they’re sort of friendly sculptures?
SO: It looks like art but it’s not about challenging the categories. They are sculptures.
JS: A lot of these figures have to do with the female. These figures were appropriated by modernist masters who just started spiraling off into meanings and completely detached from a woman’s real body. In the spiral, I’m catching the metaphor and bringing it back down to the fact that there’s a person, there are people on whom these metaphors are based…”