LONDON.- In her new exhibition, It means more to me than most people, Jemma Egan considers the cult-like experience of brand loyalty. Approaching fast food as an archetypal product of mass consumption, her practice explores the visual language and emotional investment associated with late capitalist lifestyles. Inspired in part by behind-the-scenes documentary A Slice of Life, Egan dissects the world of Dominos Pizza, including competitive pizza making, corporate mascots, and the dedicated Dominoid employee.
Avoiding dispassionate or distanced critique, Egan is motivated instead by her personal sense of queasy affection and uncertain empathy for the intoxicating and ridiculous nature of unnecessary and unhealthy products, and the over-the-top advertising that promotes them. The prevalence of these products in our lives makes telling connections between convenient choices, contemporary class systems and concepts of leisure and reward.
A new video draws on the hand gestures taught to Dominos employees competing to perfect their pizza making techniques, with the artist herself enacting the moves. In a series of new sculptural works Egan uses tactile materials to highlight the qualities of takeaway meals and their residues. And inspired by the frankenfood phenomena, where fast food giants compete in a saturated market to create the most outlandish meals imaginable, Egan evokes the endless tubular sausage form of a hot dog stuffed crust pizza, cast in pink rubber, which loops and knots around the unique architecture of the gallery space.
Jemma Egan (born 1982, Liverpool) completed an MA in Sculpture at The Royal College of Art in 2015 and BA in Fine Art in Liverpool in 2005. Solo projects include: One I made Earlier, Half A Dozen Projects, London, curated by Jude Crilly (2014); Suh-peer-ee-er, *Queenspecific, Toronto (2013); The Space Between Here and There, VSVSVS, Toronto (2011); Eh?, The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art, Plymouth; Swiss Dogs, Trade Gallery, Nottingham (2010). Group shows include: It was a dark and stormy night, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester and 2 Queens, Leicester; Finals, Raw Art, Tel Aviv, curated by Nogah Davidson; Faux Sho, Assembly House, Leeds (all 2015). Video work BUNS was included in Film Open shown at Spike Island, Bristol; Eastside Projects, Birmingham; Castlefield Gallery, Manchester; Tramway, Glasgow; S1 Artspace, Sheffield; ICA, London. Upcoming projects include group show Is it Heavy or Is it Light?, Assembly Point, London (January 2016)