Jessica Harby, Referendum (Ask Me How Do I Feel)

Jessica Harby, Referendum (Ask Me How Do I Feel)

By 11th October 2016 Uncategorised No Comments

LEAVE//REMAIN | 2016 Bank Street Arts members’ exhibition | Tuesday 25th- Sunday 30th October

Jessica Harby, Referendum (Ask Me How Do I Feel)

Referendum (Ask Me How Do I Feel) uses footage from the classic film A Matter of Life and Death to create a new narrative. The film speaks directly to the viewer as the men onscreen debate but fail to provide answers to the direct questions posed. The soundtrack of layered, tentative voices reaches a firm crescendo as frustration mounts. Both the singing and narrative voices are the artist’s own, an immigrant responding to life in a country increasingly hostile to outsiders.


‘This work was made alongside the artist’s 2016 show YOUR RELUCTANT DIPLOMAT, which began as a performance and installation piece explaining Donald Trump’s sudden and baffling appearance as a prominent American political figure, but evolved into a larger community discussion about discomfort, representation and feelings surrounding national identity.’

Jessica Harby was born in 1980 in Oak Lawn, Il, USA and studied at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her practice encompasses drawing, installation, film and sound and mixes the delicate, the brutal the absurd and the serious. Often using humour to address uncomfortable ideas, she has recently explored the importance of cows in the history of art galleries, the overblown masculinity of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s face, and why Donald Trump exists. Jessica is co-creator of the zine Tappa Tappa Tappa and is one of six artists chosen by Contemporary Visual Arts Network East Midlands for their two-year project Document.

Solo exhibitions include YOUR RELUCTANT DIPLOMAT, (2016) NN Contemporary Project Space, Northampton, UK, and Pretty Girls Doing Horrid Things, (2012) The Artist’s Sanctuary, Northampton, UK. Group exhibitions include 2016 Open Exhibition, City Gallery, Peterborough, UK; Why Do We Do This (2014) and Guests & Hosts (2012), at NN Contemporary Art, Northampton, UK. Her work is included in the collections of NN Contemporary Art and the National Roller Derby Museum, Glasgow, UK.

Jessica lives and works in Northampton, UK.


Referendum (Ask Me How Do I Feel) is being exhibited as part of LEAVE//REMAIN, our 2016 members’ exhibition. We’ll be hosting an open evening at 6pm on Friday 28th Oct.