Jill Sorensen’s playful installation Significant Others invites her audience to view close up the many and varied significant others in her life.
In general usage the term ‘significant other’ refers to an intimate relationship between two people and acknowledges not only that the gender of a person’s partner need not be specified, but also that a person’s primary intimate relationship may not be sexual in nature. It allows space for intimacy that is separate from sexuality and the strongly enforced normal of ‘romantic love’. Posthumanist writer Donna Haraway engages with this in her 2003 publication The Companion Species Manifesto: Dogs, people and significant Otherness, and places emphasis on the importance of relating as a two-way activity. Haraway suggests that “...all ethical relating, within or between species, is knit from the silk-strong thread of on-going alertness to otherness-in-relation.” - Haraway, 2003
Sorensen approaches the humans, animals and plants with whom she cohabits with compassion and alertness to difference, striving to locate the singularity of each relationship. These moments of relationship are brought together in an experiential installation that allows us to glimpse the small intimacies that arise through the mundane daily acts of caring.
Jill Sorensen completed her undergraduate studies in 1991 at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Australia and gained an MFA (1st class honours) at Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland, in 2002. She has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, showing regularly at Whitespace in Auckland and Kobo Chika in Tokyo. In addition to her individual practice, Jill has a strong interest in collective projects, initiating and leading a collaborative group project played out as a series of installations at Rm Gallery in Auckland and concluding at Blue Oyster in Dunedin.
Jill is a Fine Arts lecturer in the undergraduate program at Whitecliffe College of Arts and Design in Auckland. Her practice engages with the complex and rapidly changing web of relations between humans and non-human others the animals, plants, insects, and inanimate matter with which we coexist.