Jes Reyes is an interdisciplinary artist, curator, and arts administrator living and working in the Twin Cities. Recent photography and video art of her's has exhibited with Artists in Storefronts, Altered Esthetics, Made Here, Feminist Video Quarterly, and the Walker Art Center. Jes is the founder of the Ae Film Festival and coordinates programming for Spectrum ArtWorks, a multifaceted art studio for artists living with mental illness.
In 2005, Jes moved to the Twin Cities from Southern California, a year after graduating from California State University, Long Beach with a double major in Women’s Studies and Film and Electronic Arts. Jes now holds a Master of Liberal Studies degree (focusing in creative writing, feminist theory, and film studies) from the University of Minnesota, with a minor in Museum Studies (focusing in curatorial studies).
My work grows from my artistic motivations to blend my interest in the cinematic arts with feminist theory and creative writing. I approach my projects with the goal to combine disciplines so that I can experiment with form. When I am photographing I am creating a narrative through series-based works. When I am creating moving image, I merge the visual form of cinema with literary forms like poetry and memoir.
The camera for me is an extension of my mind and body, where I produce diarist, lyrical, and somatic art. I primarily explore the fragmentation of the past and how memories and experiences take shape within our present realities, but I am also curious about the structures of bodies, whether human or comprised from nature. I look to explore what is underneath the skin or surface and aim to express the experience of bodily manifestations of emotions and the strength of vulnerability. House of Vintage (2013), a photographic series, explores tchotchkes, the mélange of vintage stores, as well as my fascination and longing for the past. In Here, Mom (2014), a short video essay, I express my relationship with my mother by allowing the camera and the editing process to become an extension of my experience. Components (2015), a silent short video poem, layers moving image with word, and explores how our bodies intersect the man-made and natural world. To speak to these two worlds, a poetic voice emerges and translates what the body feels and what the body says to its segmented existence. In Loss (2015), a short video, I follow the emotions and experiences behind the word and the experience of loss in grief. Beneath the Skin (2016) explores the ongoing tenderness I feel towards the death of my mother. A silent video poem, it gets to the heart of my grief by delving into how my deepest memories lay beneath my skin.
I attempt to work out my particular inquiries trough self-reflexivity and challenging traditional narrative forms. My art, image-based and non-linear, offers a handmade quality that is non-objective in nature. I imagine this process as weaving images with subjectivity, tone, and mood. Though I tend to work alone, some of my works are created through intimate collaborations.