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Peripheries

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Peripheries In this body of work, I utilize found wooden and cardboard pallets as a foundation for process-based artworks. The pieces reference their original industrial source, but are also transformed, through material manipulation, to evoke other associations. The pallets, built to move objects in our consumer-based economy, have strong symbolic ties with blue-collar jobs; I juxtapose these with materials such as plastic, cheap paper and commercial caulking that are equally prosaic, but by contrast are transparent, soft and unpredictable. The transience of these materials stands in contradiction to ideas of monumentalism and legacy in art. Not only are these materials soft and delicate, but they are also non-archival and likely to break down over time, resulting in an atrophy which undermines the hubris of permanence and the desires of the art market. There is both a celebration and a rejection of modernist strategies in my work. I embrace the materiality typical of the movement, allowing the materials to guide the making of the object. The interspersing of soft and hard materials, however, goes against ideals of late modernist (minimalist) material purity. Likewise, the use of industrial materials, not intended for art-making, lends a level of unpredictability and flux to the work. The surfaces created are imperfect, and often need repair, resulting in soft, rippled and sometimes patched exteriors, referencing a torn and scarred skin that is stretched over wooden and cardboard bones. The viewer is confronted with a corporeality that is out of place, resulting in a sense of fascination, repulsion and intimacy. I am interested in an ongoing dialogue about legacy and power structures in art. By creating work that emphasizes fragility, intimacy and vulnerability, and by integrating ephemeral materials into industrial objects, I address the borders of both a (masculine) gendered performance and minimalist art. The corruptible, non-archival materials, soft and corporeal, undermine the modernist ideal of the heroic public artwork, the eternal monument to legacy and economic gain. For example, in Packaged Cube the viewer is denied the full enjoyment of the piece by the plastic ‘packaging’, which interferes with aesthetic enjoyment and recalls the intended purpose of the materials. The disruptive packaging undermines the exalted position of the art object, and re-centers it in the mundane, material world while at the same time refocusing the narrative around concepts of economy and production, as well as the corporeal through the fragile, visceral surface.

  • Date created
    2019-02-28
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
    Research Material
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/r3-hmq7-cg09
  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International