Producer: Jodie Lee Cooper
Jodie Lee Cooper is a multidisciplinary artist, her practice encompassing drawings, photographs, textured surfaces, performance pieces, and video/animation with emphasis on the trace of human activity and human presence, often considering and working with the space in which the work is made/shown. The allusion to western and eastern philosophy is subtly incorporated within her work. Her recent performance piece Space Between Thoughts explores the question what is reality? Are we the person in the mirror or outside of it? This alludes to Plato’s cave, where the bound people perceive mere shadows on the wall of the world outside the cave, falsely taking this to be their reality.
When the visitor stands in a blackened room with only the light from the TV illuminating they are very much aware of the work and their own presence, because if they were not there then the work does not exist. There are two TV’s within Space Between Thoughts and Cooper between them, each TV acting as a metaphor of thoughts, and Cooper being the space existing between them. This is simultaneously a poignant and intense experience watching the artist inside the TV watching TV, whilst you stand not really knowing what is going on. She makes us question the world around us and all the things we take for granted, what if they weren’t there? And what if you woke up one morning holding a plucked flower from your dream in your hand? Ah, what then?
This line of thinking then takes us into the realm of images and painting, and how they came into the world, as we know it, and why humans did this. The initial cave paintings found in various parts of the world could potentially be telling clues of how they are more than images on the wall depicting hunter gatherer scenes. There is a strong possibility the images depict human transcendence beyond the state of mind and the self (ego). Images perceived during these trance experiences of the Shaman (a global occurrence) have been recorded on the cave walls throughout history of what we have discovered. Almost as if our mind is a gateway to greater understanding and connection within the universe, and potentially in connection with other humans, and possibly animals, in terms of energy sensing. It is this spiritual transcendence Cooper is exploring in matter, and the gateway of the human body. How do we fit and interact with the world both spiritually and physically? What is the significance of human existence? Or perhaps there is none and we are but particles floating in space.
Cooper’s work whilst being very considered still has something refreshingly raw about it, it feels as though it is still in its primitive stages, almost as if she has reverted back to the essence of the cave paintings and there is something greater to come.