My current work is about women. Although it’s becoming more recognized in this current moment, it has always been clear that clubs, books, movies, etc. that are about, for, or by women are thought of in a lesser subcategory. It’s popular in certain circles to dismiss groups such as cheerleaders and sorority members and, though I understand the criticisms, both institutions were created by women who just wanted the same opportunities as men. This tension between what looks frivolous and what in another light is actually feminism is why I’m so interested in these groups. They are also a microcosm of power dynamics. I use the positioning of figures and their poses, colors, uniforms, and scale as well as the baggage of stereotypes to explore the nuances of the hierarchies within and between groups. What are the unwritten rules, and do we claim power or willingly give it away to be polite?
Jennie Ottinger was raised in Massachusetts and currently lives in San Francisco, CA. She got her BFA from California College of the Arts and earned an MFA from Mills College. She has exhibited extensively in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as in New York, Miami, Dallas, Los Angeles and London. She is currently an Affiliate Artist at Headlands Center for the Arts.