Online project and distributed publication
Hardcore Vanilla Rain
Ends 20 February 2021
This project by Jennifer Mehigan was adapted as the Covid restrictions changed during the research and preparation time. Instead of a physical installation which visitors would have been able to encounter, the artist reshaped the concept to the 'traditional' media form of a printed publication with inserted samples of 'perfume and other fragrance products'; a refreshing format after the online overload, easy to be picked up or posted and read and enjoyed at home, touching paper, turning pages.
'The ‘default’ aesthetic - a term coined by Etienne Cliquet in the early 00s
– describes the appearance of information on a computer without an added layer
of ‘design’. In the language of computing, “by default” refers to the parameters
that are defined in the moment between a program being launched and before a
user is able to modify it or make changes. “At start-up, the display is
initialized by default.” The world wide web, mainstream social media platforms,
Adobe CS, Mac OS X, Windows, etc, are wrapped in membranes of design that
provide a narrow set of outcomes that are ultimately predicted before you turn
your devices on.
Grappling with these parameters and their relationship to 'neutrality', HARDCORE VANILLA RAIN presents a series of paintings, photographs, drawings, writing fragments, and screenshots in publication form, accompanied by vials of perfume and other fragrance products. After Cliquet, the flavour-and-fragrance component of vanilla and/or vanillin as the material embodiment of 'default-ness' provides an entry point for thinking about obedience, alienation, consumption, and experiences of pleasure in Mehigan’s digital work.
Arriving as long black pods, vanilla was introduced to Europe from Mexico in the 1500s. The flat-leaved vanilla orchid (vanilla planifolia) will not bear fruit when grown outside of Mexico, requiring artificial pollination by hand. This refusal is unintentionally sweet.
The publication will be available for collection at PS² on February 14th, or can be posted to your home for the cost of P&P. Please contact Jennifer at hello[at]jennifermehigan.com to place an order.'
Text by Jennifer Mehigan
About the artist
Jennifer Mehigan, (1988, Singapore / Cork), is an artist based in Belfast.
Initially trained in graphic design and art education, her work spans multiple platforms, mixing together 3d modelling, found / stock objects and images, text, textiles, video, painting, sound, scent, and installation. Recently her practice has expanded to include workshops and public / graphic collaborations with friends.
She is currently a PhD researcher at the Belfast School of Art, Ulster University.