Amy Jorgensen explores themes and imagery of the apple as a loaded and sometimes contradictory cultural symbol. Her performative acts of eating, destroying, and documenting the common fruit speaks to the ways in which the apple embodies notions of sensuality, and by extension the female body, while simultaneously hinting to the negative connotations of a tainted fruit.Drawing on the political landscape of terrorism, torture, and images associated with these topics, Jorgensen incorporates references to militaristic rebellion and the co-opting of male violence as a way to examine how the traditional symbolism of the apple correlates to imagery of force and extremism.Her video Far From the Tree
documents the artist unsuccessfully bobbing for red apples, a performance that treads the line between the romantic nostalgia of a childhood game and the voyeuristic discomfort of observing someone struggle underwater. In An Apple a Day
, Jorgensen references the popular saying by partially eating and then destroying the remains of an apple using the brute force of a sledge hammer. The images are shot in such a way to suggest decay, repulsion, and unsanitary conditions, while her work Apple of My Eye
displays images of apples blowing up juxtaposed with scenes of the artist shooting a pistol.
Through her exploration of this quintessential American symbol, Jorgensen rejects the traditional construct of the apple as a signifier of femininity and female transgression. Rather, she addresses themes of brutality embedded in the apple as a target of aggression.