This Infinity Fits in my Hand

This Infinity Fits in My Hand

Infinity is a name given to an idea that has no beginning and no end. It is the space that lies beyond quantifiability, exceeding any assignable quantity. Endless in scope,  infinity describes that which is unknown and ungraspable. It allows us to understand limits and boundaries. Once a thing becomes bounded and defined,  it can no longer be infinite.  

Jana Brevick 's work is an ongoing study of the territory beyond limits. Whether wearable or environmental,  her jewelry and sculpture defy constraints of materiality,  proportion,  and convention. Applying the ephemera of science - nomenclature,  graphs,  diagrams,  numbers,  and discarded parts and mechanisms - as source material and as a visual language,  her work fetishizes obsolescent technologies and anachronistic aspirations that hark to a simpler,  not-so-distant past - one that looked to the future with wide and hopeful eyes,  believing in the invincibility of science in the face of any question or challenge.

Brevick 's journey to the present has been a constantly uncoiling spiral. As a child,  she moved frequently - from Utah, where she was born,  to Boise,  Idaho; to the Netherlands; on to San Francisco,  followed by Colombia; and then to a small town in Indiana before arriving in the Pacific Northwest. She studied fashion design,  then metals,  building a multifaceted career unbound by any one mode of working. In a way,  her artistic production is itself infinite: series of works are researched,  pushed forward,  dropped in favor of others,  and revisited years later; many works influence other series or riff on themes and motifs of singular pieces. Boundaries between one series and another are porous and fluid. Taken as one corpus,  the work is in flux: developing and expanding much like our understanding of the universe we inhabit; hurtling forward into the unknown and boundless.

With acute powers of observation - particularly when it comes to metals and the body - and a generous sense of humor that delights in everything from pop culture and kitsch to advancements in the study of theoretical physics,  Brevick imbues each piece with the eager exuberance of a passionate pupil. However,  the integrity of the artist 's workmanship and her steadfast dedication to authenticity in materials grounds this mirth,  steering the work away from trope.

The Scientific Revolution reoriented humanity's understanding of its place in the cosmos. But through Jana Brevick 's works,  adornment allows us to create universes of our bodies. The absurdity of suggesting that infinity might be not only quantified,  but also grasped and carried in the hand,  is key to comprehending the endless humor and scientific reasoning invested in her work. As images from Mars come through our social media feeds, Brevick reminds us that exploration of universe and delineating infinity can begin here on our own bodies. Pushing boundaries and challenging borders happens here. So adorn yourself with a satellite,  or a tracking device,  or a pure element,  and discover new galaxies that lie beyond the limits of human understanding.

--Jennifer Navva Milliken, Curator Bellevue Arts Museum

This Infinity Fits in my Hand

This Infinity Fits in my Hand

Atomic Exfiltrator, Ship 7

Installation view, 2015

Bellevue Arts Museum

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Deployed, Porthole 3

Deployed, Porthole 3

Deployed: Fine gold foil & sterling silver

Detail Atomic Exfiltrator, Ship 7

Installation view, 2015

Bellevue Arts Museum

Airlock

Airlock

Necklace in fabricated aluminum capsule & sterling silver

Atomic Exfiltrator, Ship 7

Installation view, 2015

Bellevue Arts Museum

Send & Receive

Send & Receive

Atomic Exfiltrator, Ship 7

Installation view, 2015

Bellevue Arts Museum

Calculators

Calculators

Calculator objects in fabricated sterling silver

Atomic Exfiltrator, Ship 7

Installation view, 2015

Bellevue Arts Museum

Calculator 3

Calculator 3

Fabricated sterling silver

Atomic Exfiltrator, Ship 7

Installation view, 2015

Bellevue Arts Museum

This Infinity Fits in my Hand

This Infinity Fits in my Hand

Exhibition view

2015

Bellevue Arts Museum

photo: Adrian Busse

This Infinity Fits in my Hand

This Infinity Fits in my Hand

PuzzleGuts and other robot neckpieces

Gallery view

2015

Bellevue Arts Museum

photo: Emilie Smith

This Infinity Fits in my Hand

This Infinity Fits in my Hand

Exhibition view

2015

Bellevue Arts Museum

photo: Adrian Busse

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