Artist: Caryn Aasness
Exhibition: To Call it Cute is to Misunderstand
About the artist:
Caryn Aasness is a senior at CSULB who will be graduating after this semester with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in fibers.
The gallery was full of multi-colored, checkered, woven pieces of material. They varied in length but were all 26 units wide to match the 26 letters of the alphabet. The only piece that was wider than that the title piece, which displayed the message “To Call it Cute is to Misunderstand.” In place of a traditional artist’s statement was a follow-along piece that directed you to a statement that is tailored to your experience.
Each woven piece contained a different message that could be deciphered through the colors of the squares and where a color overlapped itself. The messages all had something to do with social constructs or a social timeline, such as “first comes love then comes marriage.” Other patterns contained playground like sayings like “I know you are but what am I” and “I’m rubber you’re glue.” All of these messages share the implication that we follow a pattern in life. Things are slowly changing, but we still are living based on the idea that boys are boys, girls are girls, we grow up, fall in love, get married, have children, and history repeats itself.
Synthesis / My experience:
I have my own beliefs about whether social constructs should be followed or not, but I am fascinated at how we as a society have followed them for so long. Caryn’s representation of societal organization through weaving is brilliant. She had total freedom in what she wanted to create, but she did have to follow some guidelines because, like lots of other skills, weaving requires a specific set-up in order for it to work. We have control of our lives. We can do whatever we want, but we still follow rules. We do our chores, go to school, get jobs, and have families. Everything we do in between, or the big picture that we create, is totally up to the individual, but, for the most part, we all follow a general guideline, like weaving