There is little separation between the activity I carry out in my private studio space and the public performances that I enact. In both spaces, I recently inhabited the role of archivist, manual laborer, archeologist and spiritual medium. I am interested in the human desire to satisfy, to fulfill, to complete and how these objectives deeply influence daily decisions in relation to what one might choose to consume on a daily basis. This is illustrated in installations that I construct with sculptural and textile elements that are activated by performative “work sessions.” The action, being made public, is often taken directly from my studio routines through which my body and time are presented to the viewer.
As the inhabitants of bodies, we are all too familiar with having to choose whether to present the self as functional or aesthetic tools each day. I ask: how does one attain enough distance from the self to interrupt the body’s desire?
My studio practice is rooted in research of heritage hand making techniques and their historical contexts which I aim to employ through contemporary art making mechanisms. Previous examples include lace making, brick building, quilting, net making, plaster casting, and macrame. I believe that making objects by using ancient construction methods in an industrialized world, provides a deeper understanding of previous human histories. I aim to preserve and contextualize these histories, materials and traditional processes within the contemporary craft movement. Through the combination of sculptures, textiles and photographs formalized into installation spaces, I play with the metaphysical position of objects and often realize them as display mechanisms. Through careful consideration of past and present object ontologies, the work makes tangible the distance between what is sought after and what is found.
Christalena Hughmanick is a Chicago based artist working in textiles, sculpture, and performance. She received her Masters In Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2012 and currently teaches in the Fiber and Material Studies Department at the school. Recent exhibition sites include Fernwey, Document, Triumph Gallery and Western Exhibitions in Chicago, SOIL Gallery in Seattle and Gorge Borge Gallery in Budapest, Hungary. She was most recently an International Artist in Residence at the Hungarian Multicultural Center in Budapest in 2017. She has been awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to complete a public art project in Hungary during the 2018-19 academic year through the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design.