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.