Portfolio > In Balance With

These reconfigurations have value…returning to the employment of object as a portion of strategy Kessel asks proactive questions regarding the possibilities of a Feminist form that might transcend ghettos of imagery, subject, material and historic turfs— Even more significant the expansion of this question to move beyond the qualities of what is produced and to become inclusive of methodology and practice. Is there feminist methodology and can it be distinct from method paradigms that emerged via a patriarchal history and defined by a prevailing dominance of masculine interpretation that has resulted in particular rubrics for the measure and evaluation of all? Does the 'pantheon of quality' need to be more fundamentally remodeled?—the string of beads and the presumptions regarding their order has long needed to be re-sculpted--Kessel is asking what might such a practice implemented produce as new legitimate forms and practices when the placement of form or object within process is relocated as a 'for instance' rather then 'as an end'.

How might the fickle, slippery, lame, obscured, vague, or vanished assert importance on their own terms—Kessel's work has begun a quest for how parallel and distinctive sets of criteria might re deploy the energy and practice of an artist and the parameters of their work. It is within this new paradigm that she is now initiating work that at times scrambles the old string of beads. How might a composition of over-shadowed empathies remain quietly operative and define a body of work? How does the domestic and temporal gently displace a monument or attack it head on without deploying the assumptions or tactics of the fortress establishment? Can mother Kessel reshape a plank of lumber by quiet forces of bodily strength balancing the unpredicted motions of the child she is simultaneously caring for at a distance? Might a happenstance act of quasi collaboration bring a wavering-stasis? Can or must this be accomplished outside the central market's spotlights? Might such a tactic be the beginning of a practice that is decentralized and who's work is sited unpredictably? Kessel's work is exploring a less boundaried and more bundled practice where study, production, dissemination and domestic requirements overlap and slip—where product and performance co-reside suggesting role definitions can be dissolved and career acts may be imported to the inner spaces of the life of home.

Duane McDiarmid
Chair, Sculpture and the Expanded Practice, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio
Writing about In Balance With
2011