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Teen Summer Workshop Series
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The Mattress Factory is an artist-centered museum, international residency program and renowned producer and presenter of installation art. We say “yes” to artists, offering time and space to dream and realize projects in our hometown, Pittsburgh, PA. We invite audiences from around the world and around the corner to step inside, immerse and connect with the artistic process.

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Jessica Stockholder

Mixing food with the bed


This play is a reflection on the (im)possibility of accepting diversity and the other. The fragmented body of the neoplasm—the fruit of unstable conditions—overcomes barriers, loves and denies itself and others, wanders around, forgetting its profession. It frequently and with pleasure divides, goes through dangerous palpation, questions the possibility of contact with the experience of the other. Poorly brought up but very successful, it invites us to a trans-species transition.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Fusce at elit quis felis ullamcorper vehicula non in est. Maecenas finibus pharetra justo et faucibus. Nulla eu tortor vel ex volutpat efficitur. Vivamus placerat turpis in aliquet venenatis. Quisque ac lacinia mauris. Nam quis lobortis elit. Vestibulum sagittis nisi sit amet euismod hendrerit. Mauris non sodales odio. Donec efficitur molestie quam, sed lobortis massa vestibulum ut.

Nunc at arcu sodales nisi porta euismod non vel neque. Phasellus at lobortis ante, in suscipit justo. Proin non purus vitae nisi molestie consectetur. Vestibulum volutpat lobortis interdum. Vestibulum pretium ligula lorem, egestas ultricies lectus ultricies ac. Curabitur venenatis vulputate dolor.

Disparate materials make odd connections: a wall built of old brick, a raw wood railing rising like stairs, a slash in the floor revealing the basement, a slab of grey concrete with human hair embedded in it, discarded stoves, washing machines, refrigerators, all turned on their sides, panels of styrofoam painted bright green.

Walls, floor, ceiling, and appliances are joined by a painted swath of hot orange. A bathtub, jutting from the brick wall, is a glistening turquoise. And a plushy lavender cloth, draped over a papier-mâché form, hangs from the ceiling.

Artist Statement

Mixing food with the bed is like mixing concrete with hair or having a bathtub mixed with a brick wall, or like making a painting over top of stuff out in the middle of the room where the sculpture is.

This piece combines real stuff in a peculiar fashion. The stuff is the support for the painting; but the real elements and the painted elements are of equal value and are measured against one another.

Mixing things that feel as if they are immiscible causes doors to open where there were none before. How we see informs how we are.


Factory Installed: October 14 - December 22, 1989
About The Artist

Jessica Stockholder was born in Seattle and lives and works in Chicago. Stockholder is specifically known for her sculptures and installation art. She received her BFA from the University of Victoria, Canada, and her MFA in Sculpture and Painting from Yale University.

Stockholder explains that her work is very site-specific. Her creations are influenced by the space, architecture, light, and any kind of formalism. She aims to challenge boundaries within her installations, by creating a new perspective of sculpture and environment. She is known for using, “everyday objects” and creating a space that is considered, “occupied”.

Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, including DIA Center for the Arts, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City; SITE Santa Fe; the Venice Biennale; Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, Switzerland; and Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

Stockholder’s work can be found in collections throughout the world, including The British Museum (London), Addison Gallery of American Art (MA), Art Institute of Chicago (IL), Museum of Modern Art (NY), Whitney Museum of American Art (NY), National Gallery of Australia, Staedel Museum, Frankfurt (Germany), and many more. Stockholder was awarded the Guggenheim Fellowship in 1996.

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