James Hegge has mastered a number of media but he primarily makes sculptural works that engage the phenomena of human experience. Using performance objects that are often adorned by the viewer, he explores bodily themes such as balance, dexterity, endurance, and kinesthetic. Examining physical limits and perceptions, he employs the body as a vehicle for understanding. Through directly engaging the participant he investigates the boundaries of our own bodies and how they interact with the environment and those around us. His sculptural works take the form of both tool and impairment, which allows for the focusing in or amplification of whatever phenomenon he is engaging. His structures often burden or deprive the participant of some ability or sense.
Working with Artistic Director Paul Wong, Hegge applied his proprioception process to handmade paper. Rubbing pigment abaca across a cotton sheet, faint variations in texture and color emerge on the page. Hegge’s nose replaced the paintbrush as he used it to push a ball bearing up and down the page, creating subtle markings. The end result is a ghostly image whose markings do not appear deliberate or even human.
This was the first time I worked in handmade paper. The residency helped me develop a set of concerns I address in my drawings: exploring dexterity and creating a sensitive surface that records “an event”.
—James Hegge, 2001
James received a BFA from the Cleveland Institute of Art and an MFA from Stanford University. He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Workspace Program artist-in-residence 2001