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Artist's Statement: The Plural Wife Project

Artist's Statement: The Plural Wife Project Artist’s Statement The Plural Wife Project angela ellsworth The Plural Wife Project navigates issues of the body in relation to gender, sex- uality, and cultural history of the Western United States through sculptural objects and performance. The project is embedded in excavating personal his- tory to understand my queer identity as an extension of the nonheteronor- mative communities established by my ancestors. I am a fourth-generation Mormon; my ancestors were some of the earliest Mormons to pioneer the West. They were prophets and poets who spoke in tongues, lived within the construct of polygamy, and practiced mystical aspects of Mormonism. Fo- cusing on sister-wives as a point of departure for discussing contemporary is- sues around nonheteronormative relationships, I reimagine a community of women with their own visionary and revelatory powers as they pioneer new personal histories. “Seer Bonnets” is an ongoing series of sculptural pioneer bonnets covered in thousands of pearl-tipped corsage pins, creating subtle patterns on the ex- teriors and sharp, treacherous interiors. Standing in for the estimated thirty- fi ve wives of Joseph Smith, “Seer Bonnets” suggests a new tool of translation, nodding to the tools Smith used to translate the Book of Mormon. The instal- lation http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies University of Nebraska Press

Artist's Statement: The Plural Wife Project

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © Frontiers Editorial Collective.
ISSN
1536-0334

Abstract

Artist’s Statement The Plural Wife Project angela ellsworth The Plural Wife Project navigates issues of the body in relation to gender, sex- uality, and cultural history of the Western United States through sculptural objects and performance. The project is embedded in excavating personal his- tory to understand my queer identity as an extension of the nonheteronor- mative communities established by my ancestors. I am a fourth-generation Mormon; my ancestors were some of the earliest Mormons to pioneer the West. They were prophets and poets who spoke in tongues, lived within the construct of polygamy, and practiced mystical aspects of Mormonism. Fo- cusing on sister-wives as a point of departure for discussing contemporary is- sues around nonheteronormative relationships, I reimagine a community of women with their own visionary and revelatory powers as they pioneer new personal histories. “Seer Bonnets” is an ongoing series of sculptural pioneer bonnets covered in thousands of pearl-tipped corsage pins, creating subtle patterns on the ex- teriors and sharp, treacherous interiors. Standing in for the estimated thirty- fi ve wives of Joseph Smith, “Seer Bonnets” suggests a new tool of translation, nodding to the tools Smith used to translate the Book of Mormon. The instal- lation

Journal

Frontiers: A Journal of Women StudiesUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Apr 20, 2012

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