Jane, noun \ˈjān\, plural (-s): slang: girl, woman
English: from the Middle English personal name Jan, a variant of John. (As a personal name, Jane was not specialized as a female form until the 17th century.)
Source: Dictionary of American Family Names ©2013, Oxford University Press via Ancestory.com
Jane Doe, noun; 1.a fictitious name used in legal proceedings for a female party whose true name is not known., 1935-40; feminine of John Doe.
Dictionary.com Unabridged, Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
“Enter the highly marketable “women’s empowerment,” neither practice nor praxis, nor really theory, but a glossy, dizzying product instead. Women’s empowerment borrows the virtuous window-dressing of the social worker’s doctrine and kicks its substance to the side. It’s about pleasure, not power; it’s individualistic and subjective, tailored to insecurity and desire. The new empowerment doesn’t increase potential so much as it assures you that your potential is just fine. Even when the thing being described as “empowering” is personal and mildly defiant (not shaving, not breast-feeding, not listening to men, et cetera), what’s being marketed is a certain identity. And no matter what, the intent of this new empowerment is always to sell”
— Jia Tolentino | New York Times
Studies of Jahyne is an interdisciplinary exploration of the essence of femininity and its relationship to the female body through the means of garment making and photography. The point of departure for this project is derived from the name Jahyne (Jane, Jayne, Jane Doe) as it represents the muse; a name given to correlate one to gender or sex in the same way that femininity connects to the female body.
Studies of Jahyne opens a dialogue about the meaning of femininity by focusing on women or those who have been associated with womanhood based on their body. The work consists of a series of portraits in which an individual interacts with handmade, naturally and artificially dyed scarves. The scarf serves as a physical symbol of femininity; each individual is given the power to place the scarf in a manner that represented their relationship to femininity. The portraits were taken in "safe places," a space chosen by the individual where they felt the most comfortable. These individuals were also given the option to write about their first experience with femininity, a transformative moment in which femininity was felt or understood, or their own definition of femininity. The written work, if the individual chose to complete one, is included with their corresponding portrait, allowing them to be defined by their own words, thoughts, and feelings.
Studies of Jahyne is on view at the Harlem School of Arts from September 14th - November 4th.
Artist Talk: October 19th.
Book Signing: May 12th from 1-4pm at Ode to Babel.