10,000dwt (pennyweights)
2011 handmade, sterling silver chainlink fence
Chainlink fence is routinely associated with cordoning off construction sites, demarcating private and/or abandoned property, and more recently establishing uninviting borders between the US and Mexico. My fence juxtaposes the perfunctory and utilitarian quality of chainlink with the value associated with silver. Object and material stand in polar opposition. The cheap chainlink fence, normally mass-produced in galvanized steel, conveys an aggressive and unwelcoming message. Silver, conversely, is a precious metal, made into fine jewelry and heirloom-quality flatware appropriate for a wedding registry. Once combined, where does one locate the new meaning, in the fence, which prevents passage, in the silver, which evokes desire and aspiration, or in the uncomfortable combination of the two? A silver chainlink fence assumes additional connotations in a paranoid economic climate.

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San Marcos Exhibit Takes New Look at American West
by Jeanne Claire Van Ryzin