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Container: Recent Work by Jody Joyner

Container: Recent Work by Jody Joyner

Container: Recent Work by Jody Joyner
September 12 – October 22, 2023
Closing Reception:
Sunday, October 22, 2023, 1-3pm. List Gallery.  Refreshments will be served.

The List Gallery is pleased to present Container, a solo exhibition of recent works by Jody Joyner. Through her interdisciplinary practice, which includes sculpture, video, installation, and mixed-media wall works, Joyner explores the materiality, purpose, and shifting meanings of everyday things. The artist will be honored as the Donald J. Gordon Visiting Artist and lecture about her work on Wednesday, September 13 at 4:30 PM in the Lang Performing Arts Center Cinema. The List Gallery reception will follow, 5:30–7:00 PM. A risograph broadside will accompany the exhibition. List Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Sundays, Noon–5:00 PM. Admission to the gallery and all events are free and open to the public.

In Container, Joyner uses consumer product packaging as her primary source of materials, forms, and subject matter. She often begins her inquiries by shredding discarded single-use objects, such as cardboard boxes, to create malleable pulp. She then presses the pulp into plastic objects, such as egg cartons, trash cans, and produce baskets, which become found molds. The front room of the gallery features two composite installations consisting of stacked garbage containers made from a single mold. The installations recall the type of organization found in supermarkets, offices, or other quotidian spaces. Despite her playful interest in mimesis, Joyner’s sculptures are not replicas. She represents durable, mass-produced materials with imperfect, hand-processed matter. Her pulp trash cans are porous and fragile trash. Her jugs are not symmetrical or functional, but warped and wryly studded with remnants of an Eggland’s Best® label.


The back room of the gallery features an immersive installation that overlays sculptural forms with video projection and sound.  Joyner plays with some of the conventions of still life painting by creating a tabletop comprised of replicated sculptural packaging. She projects close-up footage of fruits and other foods onto the sculptural set-up, creating a back-and-forth between containers and their contents.  Joyner’s fascination with layering and scale continues in her new series of small-scale wall-mounted works created by printing organic imagery onto surfaces made from seeds.

Throughout Container, Joyner’s material and formal interventions hybridize the synthetic and organic, the industrial and hand-made, the pristine and imperfect. Offering a playful yet somber look at the increasing detritus of the Anthropocene, the artist reminds viewers of how we are each continuously cast and recast as consumers.

Jody Joyner is an interdisciplinary artist and educator living and working in Philadelphia, PA. She

received an MFA from Yale University in 2016 and a BA from Colorado College in 2010.  Joyner has exhibited work throughout the country in venues such as Franconia Sculpture Park (Minneapolis, MN), Vox Populi (Philadelphia, PA), and Modest Common (Los Angeles, CA). She is the recipient of multiple grants, awards, and residencies, including SOMA Summer in Mexico City, Mountain School in Los Angeles, the Al Held Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome, and the Josef Albers Traveling Fellowship. Joyner is currently an Assistant Professor of Art at Swarthmore College.

The artist would like to thank the family of Donald J. Gordon for supporting this exhibition. She is also especially grateful to Erick Wilczynski for helping to film and edit the video installation.  Additional support was provided by Swarthmore College staff in the List Gallery, Program in Art, Environmental Services, and Facilities Management; by Haverford College staff in the department of Visual Culture, Arts, and Media; and by J & K Shredding, LLC.