By Jessica Voorsanger
Jessica Voorsanger was commissioned by Beacon Art Project in 2004 to make a work to be sited in the grounds of Tupholme Abbey the ruins of a 15th century monastery in Lincolnshire. Voorsanger is an American artist living in London, having studied at the Rhode Island School of Design (BFA) and Goldsmiths College (MA Fine Art). She has had one-person exhibitions in London, New York, Edinburgh, Berlin & Turin. She has recently completed projects for the ICA (London), Art on the Underground (Charing Cross Station, London) and The Whitechapel Art Gallery (London). She works in a variety of media ranging from painting, photography, sculpture, installation, mail art and performance. The projects themselves often dictate the medium that is most appropriate. The work she makes explores the concept of celebrity within popular culture through obsession, fans and media representation. Until recently it has specifically dealt with the relationship between the “celebrity” and their “fans” and the ideology of fan culture. She attempts to capture the inaccessibility of celebrities as well as tries to relate the excitement that a fan can feel for a celebrity. (Who wants to admit to having loved someone for an eternity that they will never meet?) Now, with the overwhelming domination of reality TV, the concept of celebrity has changed. It is no longer connected only to people with talent but also of notoriety. Following this new line of enquiry, she has been exploring the interchangeability of celebrities and their audience. In the photographic image she created for Sun-Screen, she is playing on the notion of the self publicised celebrity. Through social media, it is possible to have followings of a ‘fan base’ of thousands of people for doing no more than putting on your make-up. But this public engagement takes a lot of maintenance and upkeep, which is the work aspect. It is possible to incorporate the ‘work' of social media in an leisurely way [having a cup of tea and cake with your feet up] - while still communicating with thousands of people.