Vivid and disturbing, Jessica Ciocci’s work explores the process of consumption through the examination of desire, incorporation and detritus. She appraises childhood as a time when individuals are psychically hardwired to consume, using a primitivist pig-like character as a primary motif to disarmingly critique the dynamics of demand, supply and surplus.
Employing at times a junk-store aesthetic that revels in a world of bric-a-brac, the unwanted and hidden treasures, Ciocci delves into the psychology of our emotional attachment to popular symbols, characters and narratives. Key to her approach is a profoundly intuitive re-presentation of the all-too-familiar as the uncanny.
A grandly-scaled fabric work combines everyday found textiles and repeated motifs, colors and patterning to produce an almost hypnotic effect that pushes figure and form to their limits. Together, diverse snapshot-like photographs – of Bart Simpson dolls, money blowing away on the street, a paper fish, an arm too close to the camera to be in focus – gel into a poignant, downcast whole. A series of collages, using fabric, paint, and found images of Barbie, pets and fairy tales, deftly explore the pleasures and terrors of the childhood experience. An animation-based print and a video use a flatness of texture and color, not unlike that of children’s cartoons, to create bright semi-abstract character-scapes that are undercut by an almost claustrophobic disquiet. A large acid-hued knitted yarn piece, comprising a number of individual panels, appears to be a totem to the pig-like figure, to venerate it, or perhaps, acting like a gargoyle, to ward off its potential for harm.