JEAN KLIMACK
Soft Labours
1999
chewing gum, acetate, thread, pins
dimensions vary with installation, each piece approx. 2.5"x3.5"
Soft Labours began with only my thoughts and actions of chewing gum. My intent was to isolate my own chewings into acetate packets, not only to protect them from being lost or destroyed, but to also protect the viewer from the stickiness and bacteria secreted from each chewing. In the grouping of my chewed gum, the result is 500 separate individual pockets of time. Since the act of chewing each individual piece never overlaps or is simultaneous, the result becomes my moments or my time captured, isolated and fragmented. This project became a collected multiple through repetitive labour.

The second part of Soft Labours, was reaching out beyond myself. To explore this, I wanted to include gum that was produced by others and therefore captures the properties of those people. Through the mail, I provided an acetate packet stitched on three sides, a packet of gum, a stamped return envelope, and instructions to carry out my request. I counter balanced my act of chewing gum with the act of chewing gum by others. The idea of who created the gum/art becomes plural.
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