Pinions: Jessica Ferrer & Yoonshin Park

“Ts’ui Pên must have said once: ‘I am withdrawing to write a book. And another time: I am withdrawing to construct a labyrinth’. Every one imagined two works; to no one did it occur that the book and the maze were one and the same thing.” -Jorge Luis Borges, The Garden of Forking Paths, 1941 

“I am a bird ; See my wings?” Yes; but even the wing does not make the bird. -Jules Michelet, The Bird, 1868

Pinions: Jessica Ferrer & Yoonshin Park

Exhibition Dates: 11/18/2022 – 01/13/2023
Location: Chicago Artists Coalition, 2130 W Fulton St Unit B, Chicago, IL 60612

Pinion is a multiple-meaning word defining a binding gear and/or the outer edges of a bird wing. With this homonym in mind, Pinions is a duo exhibition by Jessica Ferrer and Yoonshin Park that thinks through margins and bindings. Using book-objects, paper weavings, and abstraction, these artists assemble visual systems of connections and edges through haptics and activations. How does one become aware and work with fringes and contact? How can somatic, sensorial, and meditative practices mark and measure these phenomenological events? How does weaving and book-making translate these notions into tactile, non-static, and beautiful art objects? 

Yoonshin Park works to expand the book-object’s potentials, play with the consciousness of space, and center margins. Imagination is always in dialogue with the senses; thus, Park enlarges the scale and proportions of the book-object’s surface with textured fabric, plastic, and paper materials to encourage audiences to create plural actions and different visual outcomes with the works. The forms made while activating the pieces are not only reactions of the sensations, but the artist underlines that the sensation itself is the event of consciousness.

Unlike traditional books with characters and text, the book-objects are text-less and figure-less abstraction to obscure the object’s exact center and disorientate a beginning or end. The hope is that the book-object transcends itself to a phenomenological art object through prompts, touch, and infinite gestural events. 

Jessica Ferrer’s paper weavings, stitched drawings, and fiber works are meditations on betweenness and digitization. The geometric visual experience in Ferrer’s work is the inherent effect of the repetitive process in weaving tradition. Weavers are said to be mediators of nature’s order because, with time and patience, they arrange dynamic patterns and charged materials into furniture, garments, utilities, and other art objects. Using color palettes from personal photographs or associations, Ferrer emphasizes the weaved or penned-in patterns as effects of the hands’ capacities to translate embodied antecedent knowledge.

Playing with the language of digits, that is both an association to fingers and contemporary technologies, Ferrer creates images of QR codes that link to their poetry. In the artist’s labyrinth works, the audience is encouraged to join the labyrinth’s ends by tracing the maze with their fingers as a haptic meditative exercise. Constructing binds that resemble pixelated window shades and building knots that mimic friendship bracelets, through this body of work, Ferrer hopes to bring beautiful objects that can untangle feelings of betweenness and rejoin them into sites of celebration and familial remembrance.

Curated by John H. Guevara as part of HATCH 22-23 Curatorial Resident Program at Chicago Artists Coalition.

Jessica Ferrer is a Chicago-based artist and writer. She explores forms of tacit knowledge and meditation through weaving, text, video, and sound. Her work lives in the homes of friends, family, and acquaintances. It has been shown at the Woman Made Gallery, the Chicago Public Library, and the Gund Gallery. She received her BA in Studio Art and English from Kenyon College in 2017.

Yoonshin Park is a Chicago based multimedia artist, curator, and educator working with sculptural papers, artist books, and installations. Her interest in the comprehensive process of papermaking and bookbinding caters her work to encompass various elements woven into complete objects. She often uses her experience as a foreign transplant to question space and its implications in defining one’s identity as the inspiration behind her work. She received her M.A. and M.F.A. in Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts from Columbia College Chicago. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally and reviewed by TimeOut Chicago and Sculpture Magazine. Park was born in Seoul, Korea, and currently resides in Chicago, IL.