January 9th Exhibition
The Shorthand for Luxury
January 9 - February 10 2013, Opening: Wednesday January 9th, 6-9pm
Vandana Jain works with an alphabet of logos to examine the pervasive influence of corporate culture, consumerism and capitalism in modern life. By using pattern and design she redirects the barrage of brands that surround us, creating objects that allow greater contemplation of these symbols, and the larger structures they are part of.
Recently, Jain has started to work with finite groupings of brands, based on various factors such as profit rankings, industrial partnerships, and aesthetic and symbolic affinities. Configuring them into models for temple-like pavilions, totemic drawings, and haphazard figures, she gives visual form to the nature of multi-national conglomerates, the growth of mammoth industrial complexes and the spirit of corporate personhood.
The works in the exhibition encompass a diversity of media and a range of treatments of the subject matter. The animation, The Top 100 Global Corporations, is a graphic visualization of the Fortune 500. The logos appear in order of rank from the center out, creating a mandala-like composition. Jain utilizes the mandala to contrast the fast-paced consumer lifestyle with the spiritual and reflective state encouraged by Eastern religions.
In The Shorthand for Luxury, Jain presents us with a nuanced look at the visual language of symbols and brands that proliferate all around us. Jain's diverse works become a lens through which we see hidden connections, whether through monopolization of the market or through the power of certain symbols used throughout the centuries that Jain then repurposes. In doing so, Jain elucidates the abundant visual culture all around us and uncovers layers of meaning in logos to make us see them in a different manner.