My current studio practice is a synthesis of several interrelated explorations: the creation of complex sculptural environments, the documentation of their growth and decay and the placement of my body within these systems. These investigations take place through sculpture, animation, video, sound and performance. The past two years I have constructed sculptural environments that relate to natural systems. These structures evolve from simple organic forms, which are repeated and varied many thousands of times. These environments are constantly in flux. I build structures, break them down and rebuild new forms in the ruins imbuing them with a sense of history. This process is documented through stop-motion photography and video. I wear ceramic suits, which camouflage me in these spaces. I use the suit as a means of exploring the idea of vulnerability and how organisms protect themselves though concealment, cladding themselves in armor and devising defensive strategies. The suit becomes a type of thick skin that serves as protection but is also a burden to carry. Most recently I’ve been interested in psychological transformation that can take place through ritualistic activities. I have been constructing wearable sculpture, fetishized tools and objects, which are utilized in performances. Through these performances I have rediscovered experiences in my life that had been long forgotten to me: the singing of gospel hymns from my childhood and the recreation of many of the movements and gestures associated with church life in the Deep South. I see these rituals as a means of reconnecting with a very distant, deeply embedded part of myself.
— Jared Theis