I am currently planning my first exhibition, Persona Somnia.
I will create six different archetypes – unified as a total work of art – by designing six sculptural costumes and light projections, collaborating with a local perfumer, and six musicians who will each be creating an original soundscape: Chelsea Wolfe, Zola Jesus, Jonnine Standish (HTRK), Belong, Drew McDowall of Coil and MayA. The story is inspired by my idea of the multidimensional ‘self’ and will be brought to life using all the senses in a dream like surreal setting. It will take place in an abandoned building in NYC due to be torn down soon after.
I have always been inspired by dreams. Mixing dreams with reality… I often drift into the place in between. One of my passions is to create ways to take others into this place. To open a part of the psyche and create a dream like psychedelic experience which connects everyone using minimal elements. To feel as close to what a dream would feel like in the waking life.
Persona Somnia in latin means Dream Persona... This project is so close to my heart as it is my way of living life. Let me take you to this place in between.
A visceral, sensory exploration into the kaleidoscopic, fragmented self as it merges into a whole. Told through a multi-sensory, full scale exhibition as conceived by artist and designer Jenni Hensler.
For over ten years I’ve been creating visual stories - from designing costumes and wearable sculpture pieces for musicians and editorial to building sets and video collages. This is my passion, and my way of connecting with others. I am grateful to make a living doing what I love and to be able to collaborate with so many wonderful and talented people along the way. Each project I work on inspires me more and new ideas continue to emerge. They all seem to have a common language and I feel that now is the perfect time to bring all of these ideas together.
Persona Somnia will be a public exhibition showcasing facets of my work that I’ve been refining over the course of my career as an artist, from the metamorphosis of designing costumes and wearable sculpture pieces to set design and video art. I’ve developed an interest in synthesizing the totality of sensory input. Through a unique combination of sight, scent, taste, sound and touch, I intend to create a higher aesthetic experience evocative of dreams.
In my very first exhibit, I would like to invite the spectator to enter a space of my own design: a visual, sonic and tactile exploration. of a kaleidoscopic, fragmented self as it merges into a whole. I will be drawing from my own experiences, but the desired effect is that this intimate personal exploration will mirror experiences the viewer has had. I believe that this pursuit of a clearer lens into the self is innately human, and a shared journey. I hope to engage people’s senses and challenge their perceptions in a collective reflection.
Six different archetypes of the “self” will be on display throughout the exhibit, exposing what lies hidden in the human collective psyche. They will be brought to life through a multi-medium sensory display of sculptural costumes, singular scents, and ambient soundscapes.
In collaboration with six different musical artists, scent artist Olya Bar, and inspired by my intimate connection to dream states and anomalous phenomena, Persona Somnia will come to life.
Jonnine Standish (HTRK)
Drew McDowall of Coil
I have experienced many ups and downs in the past year, and have recently found solace and inspiration from within. With Persona Somnia, I want to create a tableaux vivant that one can physically step into, as if they were entering into the chaos and beauty of a dream.
This will be my most cathartic work to date.
Jenni Hensler is a master of bending sensory experience. She
brings dream shapes into the physical world by mining the
collective psyche and making abstractions tangible. By
harnessing the beauty that lies in the space between polarities
like instinct and cognition, the natural world and synthetic,
archaic and modern
with a distinct synesthetic approach
sound form vision
bleed together. This strange shape shifting creates a hypnagogic
universe that engulfs the senses and blurs any semblance of
reality that surrounds them.
'I take pleasure in my transformations. I look quiet and consistent, but few know how many women there are in me' ― Anais Nin
‘Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes’ ― Carl Jung