2nd Year Reviews: Mary Skrenta by Jiaqi Kou

When reviewing Mary’s work, previous and current, I see a lot of different attempts to express her topic: Sexual Repression & Liberation. I see many, many experiments with a wide variety of materials and media. The most prominent feeling apparent in her previous work, especially the ones attached to the wall, is the tension between repression and release. I see desire, I see bounding, I see hiding, yet the gesture of almost bursting as the pointed parts nearly break the fabric. It makes me feel that the more the fabric is held-back, the more tension appears at the point of the figure. The more repression, the more the desire is attempting to be free. This relationship and energy between these two aspects is very interesting, and is the thing that leads me to think about her artwork for extended periods of time.

I really admire the way that Mary works. She has the ability to experiment with many materials without hesitation. I enjoy her seeking for more and more possibilities paired with the control she provides within her works. She seriously considers every character of every material that she utilizes. She skillfully fills and bounds her figures in condoms and balloons, which brings a sense of vulnerability to the work. As Mary says, “ the desire is almost fulfilled, just before satiation.” Compared with the strong feelings of tension in her work from last year, I have a greater feeling of delicateness with her work this semester. Especially in regards to the dripping and appearance of wetness. All of these indicate that moment just before satiation perfectly. She’s like a poet, speaking about the topic smoothly, with considerate form and language, flowing with a appealing rhythm, then giving a beat, a bomb, pumping in science.


To learn more about Mary’s work and her process please visit http://maryskrenta.com/blog/

As part of the second-year graduates’ Thesis Projects I course, candidates were each assigned two of their cohort to review. As students begin writing their thesis papers and constructing artist statements, this review process proves to be beneficial twofold. Students not only exercise their written critique skills, but are able to read about their own project from other voices. Over the next few weeks we’ll be posting these reviews, so be sure to visit regularly for insights and photos of the second years’ progress!

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