Stacia Yeapanis Reliquaries for Clinging and Letting Go December 12, 2021 - January 9, 2022
In 2020—a chaotic year of tremendous anxiety—Stacia Yeapanis meticulously brushed her cats, de-pilled her knit jumpsuits and completed jigsaw puzzles while watching TV and drinking La Croix. She obsessively documented lost masks on the ground, escaped into thrift stores daily and nervously arranged and rearranged her stuff in a futile attempt to control the uncontrollable. When she laid her 25-year-old jeep to rest, she mixed a gallon of its unique color—some see blue, others see purple—to hold onto what was already passing away.
The wall-hung sculptures in Reliquaries for Clinging and Letting Go (2021), use the jeep’s unique color as a unifying property for sculptures that marry the visual languages of domestic decor and sacred objects. In ambivalent expressions of anxiety, ritual and habit, Stacia combines thrifted objects intended to display souvenir collections with the material byproducts of her everyday life during lockdown. Shrouds made of deconstructed clothing, ritualistic collections of material waste and garlands made of lovingly-brushed cat fur, thread remnants, consumer packaging, broken jewelry, and lint from de-pilled knitwear are opportunities to reflect on the THINGS we cling to in the face of impermanence and uncertainty.
The video explores the multitude of emotional responses—both petty and profound—to life’s unexpected turns. The characters connect and argue across the boundaries of their shows, trying to cope with change and upheaval as the pandemic unfolds around them.
Reliquaries for Clinging and Letting Go
Throughout Stacia’s practice she has used materials that accumulate in the everyday process of living. She is not simply attentive to all of the material she encounters and digests—from every La Croix can to the fur her cats shed, from the clothes she wears to the TV shows she watches. Instead, materials destined for the garbage are transformed through a meditative and obsessive practice, creating a moment which protests a rationalized consumptive erasure, inside a disposable culture. Side stepping for a moment, the ceaselessly growing whirling garbage pit in the middle of the ocean, Stacia takes a hole punch to colorful beverage boxes. She collects, sorts and string cardboard sequins into strands like beaded necklaces or popcorn garlands. For Yeapanis, this neurotic attention to our consumption, does not end with the tangible world of post-consumer waste; it is also located in endlessly streaming media and entertainment.
What does the endless accumulation of materiality and ideology mean for the attentive? Stacia walks the line between reverence and obsession, solace and despair. What does it take to inhabit such grave attention, without complete self-destruction? Does she offer a relief, a reprise into the superficial? Something to assuage the neurotic attachment to the seemingly insignificant? Surface existence seems like a healthy alternative, perhaps? You can’t attach meaning to everything, can you? But, in fact, distance is not what is happening. It seems instead the pieces have become smaller, than in previous works. The attention quieter. The repetition in the reliquaries is intimate, rather than overwhelming, offering space for private self-refection and contemplation.