Artist: Jane Weibel
Exhibition: Psycho Cycle
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Max L. Gatov Gallery East
About the Artist
Undergraduate student Jane Weibel is currently a senior at CalState Long Beach working towards her BFA degree from the School of Art’s Ceramics Program. She plans on graduating after this fall semester and then plans on applying to grad school. The one grad school Weibel has her eyes set on is UCLA because in her opinion, LA is a great place to be for art due to the various art museums and amazing art scene. Weibel first became interested in ceramics years ago when she took a ceramics class and became interested in sculptural practice.
Jane Weibel’s exhibition is inspired by feminism and shows the many woes woman are forced to face on a daily basis throughout their lifetimes. The title of her exhibition, Psycho Cycle, is not only catchy but it represents Weibel’s belief that the continuous ‘cycle’ of oppression women are faced with and is absurd and ‘psycho.’ Weibel found her inspiration by being a woman in today’s world who, like all women, is treated differently on the mere pretense of sex. An example of how she was treated differently for being a woman was when she takes her habitual trips to Home Depot to get supplies for her art work. At Home Depot, she is treated differently than the male shoppers as the workers immediately assume she doesn’t know what she needs or what she is doing and try to give her extra (unneeded) help.
Weibel’s art pieces supply a deep and thoughtful message about the hardships of women while still remaining beautifully minimalistic. A piece that caught my eye personally was what Weibel called “The Cage,” which was a cage like structure made out of domestic items. To me, the art piece showed how women are trapped within the confines of the expectations of domesticity and how they are expected by society to be the ideal house wife whose sole purpose is to cook and clean at home for the bread winning husband. This piece shows how women are oppressed and confined within the judgements and expectations of society. It shows that women must act and be within the confines of societies ideals and if they don’t they are seen in a negative context. Women who stay within the boundaries set within the cage are seen as good and exemplary, while the women who dare leave the cage and go beyond the womanly ideals defined by society are seen as faulty, too independent, too ambitious, bad wives, and bad mothers.
Being a woman myself, I understood and related to the messages Weibel’s art works portrayed. Everyday I am faced with boundaries whether it be on how I present myself (clothing, makeup, attitude) or on how ambitious I should be when it comes to my career choices. It is like I’m caged within the ideals society has for women. As a women I am told that I am to dress and do my makeup a certain way so I’ll look feminine and “cute” for those of the opposite sex rather than to do it for myself. Also, I am told to be not too ambitious when it comes to what career I aim for. I’m told that I shouldn’t aim to high within the medical professions because its too hard for a woman to do and men will find me intimidating or that I won’t have time for my non existent children because the job puts me on call 24/7. I am told to put the role I have as a woman goes before all my ambitions in life, so that I will stay within the constrictions of my cage.