with Dallas-based visual artist, Erika Jaeggli
May 9–June 13
WAAS Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibit of new works, titled “FOMO”, by artist Erika Jaeggli. The gallery will host an artist reception from 6 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, May 9 and the exhibition will remain on view through Saturday, June 13. WAAS Gallery is located at 2722 Logan Street, Dallas, Texas 75215.
Jaeggli's artistic output to date has been concerned with creating contemplative works and installations that address subjects of gender, economy and climate change.
Continuing to use metaphor and visual storytelling as artistic material, Jaeggli’s work references both past and contemporary culture in “FOMO” (Fear of Missing Out).
In large-scale charcoal drawings, she reinterprets sentiments of emptiness and angst found from the advent of postcards to present-day engagement with social media. The result is an intersection of modern culture with a highly contemplative imagination.
Many people generally think of the idea of “FOMO” as the humorous acknowledgement in texts and on social media of missing out on social engagements, in which others partaking in such activities might have rewarding experiences. However, Jaeggli’s work explores the darker side of “FOMO”: the anxiety and sense of dread that threatens the self, convincing you that you do not really exist if you are not socially engaged. It is about the impossibility of solitude in such a connected world.
In drawings depicting solitary female figures, Jaeggli reflects on how isolation and exclusion can actually give rise to personal narrative. Her figures frequently turn their backs to the viewer and gaze off to the distance, drawing the viewer in. The female figures are popped out of a social world and utterly isolated in unnatural space somewhere between the ground and the viewer.
The viewer has to look in voyeuristically from the perspective of the figure and consider her narrative and vantage point.
Where social media encourages us to reflect almost exclusively from our own vantage point, Jaeggli’s work asks the viewer to consider alternate narratives. Similar to women who pass on stories through oral traditions, weave tapestries, sew quilts or make family albums, these women are unified by their roles as mouthpieces of the larger collective consciousness and culture.
The choice of media — charcoal on paper — is mark-making at its most elemental. The artist’s hand is evident, in the strokes of the charcoal and the handwriting itself. The works incorporate collage, and reference found imagery and texts. These sources of family photographs, travel postcards and journalistic photographs from the 1940s and 1950s are chosen in order to consider how the material world alters the way we tell stories. The choice of a classic medium, coupled with the use of nostalgic imagery underscores the notion that the idea of “FOMO” is not a new concept, but rather an archetypal sentiment built into our DNA.
“I wanted to express a feeling that words cannot describe,”
said Jaeggli of her new works. “A feeling of displacement and longing that we all encounter at some point in our lives. A universal emotion, we can’t seem to break the habit of wanting things to be different from how they are, or feel like we are constantly missing out on something. This is especially poignant as digital information, advertising and social media reinforce these feelings.”
About Erika Jaeggli Erika Jaeggli was born in 1976 in Baltimore, MD and received her B.A. from Columbia University and M.A. from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. After her training in New York, she entered the Texas art scene in 2008 where she worked out of Pump Project in Austin until 2011. For the past three years, she has worked in the historic Continental Gin Building in Deep Ellum. In 2013, she was an artist-in-residence at the Dallas Arboretum where she painted onsite for three months and culminated in a show at the Arboretum's gallery and artist-led-tours throughout the gardens. Currently, Jaeggli lives and works in Dallas. Jaeggli and three other prominent Dallas artists plan to open a new artist studio and workshop space at the former Oil & Cotton creative exchange in Oak Cliff. For more information on Jaeggli, please visit www.erikajaeggli.com.