A small space can create big illusions. Similarly, a juxtaposition of emotions can seem completely at odds with our ability to reconcile them such as the thin line between feelings of protection and suffocation. These themes underlie the tension behind Jessica Caponigro’s thoughtful exhibition Sing a Funeral Song.
Jessica Caponigro transformed the small pentagon-shaped gallery space named Roman Susan, located in south Rogers Park, for her exhibition that opened March 5. Caponigro’s signature geometric pattern has been painted in the large storefront windows, casting shadows upon the seven inter-related works displayed in the exhibition.
The artist’s latest series focuses on the precarious relationship between the diametrically opposed feelings of protection and suffocation. Viewers are invited to take a prayer card upon entering the exhibition. Soft materials such as flowers and fabric are thoughtfully incorporated into the works and the artist mentioned that she is exploring concepts of finality and end-state where she has no control in how her materials will organically decompose. The delicate nature of living material and its ultimate death and degradation is intriguing to Capponigro. Similarly, her fascination with the warmth and comfort of security and the fine distinction when this protection becomes restricting, both from a physical and emotional aspect, and are addressed in this exhibit.
Sing a Funeral Song debuts Caponigro’s first video installation, an interactive video projection of her geometric pattern that is cast over a painted “hairy” canvas. The projection blurs the canvas below, and the work is constantly transforming as viewers move throughout the space, casting shadows against the walls and creating an ever-changing piece of art that further transforms itself depending upon the light cast from outside the adjacent windows. The variability of the patterns and light she captures mirrors the changing line between contradictory emotions.
Jessica Caponigro studied printmaking at SAIC. When asked about her primary medium, she said that she begins her artistic process with a concept and this ultimately determines the medium she will utilize to create. Caponigro admitted that she finds endless inspiration from attending the many gallery shows that the city has to offer.
Jessica Caponigro: Sing a Funeral Song is on exhibition at Roman Susan, 1224 West Loyola Ave, through March 26.