Justine Rainer

visual artist & curator

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Windows and Maps

“Windows and Maps”
Collaboration Piece of Olivia Dias and Justine Rainer (03/05/21)
Wood, Canvas, acrylic paint, paper and latex

Development of a mindmap on the subject of Modernism and Neo-Modernism.

You can find more detailed information and more images documenting the process on the following link.


We titled our work "Windows and Maps" because while making this work, we found that creating a (mind) map helped us wade through the complexities of Neomodernism, postmodernism, and modernism. Windows frame our work, creating a central keyhole through which our map can be viewed, in reference to Marcel Duchamp's ultimate work, "Étant donnés."

In order to create our Neomodernism artwork, we learned how to build canvas stretchers from Enda Walshe. After we had built these canvas stretchers individually, we combined our efforts to join the stretchers to make a "home" for our mind map, which showcases both of our artworks.

Referencing the first list we made about neomodernism, we wanted to create a functional place for our mind map that allows people to manipulate it. Our piece of art is both beautiful and functional, as it intertwines our artworks and creates a unique space for our mind map.

Neomodernism is rooted in collaboration, and this was an essential part of our project. We worked together on everything from hammering the nails to sawing the wood, but our unique flair is still evident in the artwork as a whole. Collaboration is a dialogue, and this painting is a visual dialogue in itself. Everything, down to the construction, was collaborative and discursive. Neomodernism is the reaction to postmodernism and modernism, which can be seen in the relationship of our two works.

Justine created a sheet of glue and latex to "stretch" over her canvas bars, pinned in place by golden thumbtacks. This references the clean minimalism of modernism. Olivia stretched the canvas and then created a painting that violates the grid, warping the structured letters of a medication label. This stealing of the medication label references appropriation, which can be seen in postmodernism.

We took meticulous care in documenting the process of building the stretcher amalgamation because we believe that artwork is about the process as much as the end result.

The stretchers are windows, and the space between our works is a frame containing the mindmap, the central collaborative piece. Our artwork is pluralist; it is more than just a painting. It is a sculpture; it is a series of paintings, it is a container for an object, it is not a painting at all.