In Good Counsel, collected ephemera are archived to give meaning not only to the specific objects, but to the people and memories they represent. Their value is rooted in their sentimental symbolism and demonstrated through their preservation. A visual narrative of repetition is created through patterning. The systematic re-organizing of collected photographs mimics the way memories are manipulated in our minds over time through self-reflection and obsession.
The processes and materials that make up this show demonstrate an attempt to slow down time and intensify the relationship to each object. The self-reflective nature of my practice manifests itself through repetitive and obsessive processes that also connote fantasy, sincerity, and longing. Nostalgia (as related to its original medical definition) is central to the installation. Debra Singer writes “[Nostalgia] conjures up a slew of associations, ranging from the wistfully contemplative to the indulgently emotional, but it almost always refers to the unreliable realm of feelings rather than rational or analytical thought.”
Some of my subject matter can be described as exhibitionist, because of the amount of personal material I offer to the viewer. However, the use of my own romantic experiences is not simply therapeutic; the calculated editing and juxtaposition of my installations speaks to a broader set of concerns and creates complex connections across pieces. While the specific stories behind the work are unique to my own experience, the larger themes cross over all ages, genders and sexual orientations.
The writing component of the Timeline installation can be viewed here.
Good Counsel Press:
The Build Up Before the Breakdown
The Build Up Before the Breakdown: Expectation and Hysteria is about learning to navigate romantic relationships through repetitive experience and the resulting anxieties. This show illustrates narratives of emotional struggle engendered by patterns of communication in the digital age. Person to person contact is declining because technology has made detached forms of communication, like text messaging, emailing, and facebooking, more convenient. Consequently, it has become easier for people to be romantically involved even when separated by physical distance. Although this is an age of instantaneous feedback, these forms of communication offer an option to delay response (or to not respond at all), while conversely face-to-face interaction requires active attention. The resulting in-between time of the delayed response functions as a space of fantasy, allowing hypothetical scenarios, daydreams, and fantastical expectations to accumulate.
Fantasy can manifest itself in several ways including sexual fantasy and romantic expectation.
Expectation can be as innocent as wanting a phone call the next day, or as elaborate as hypothesizing every detail of the way things will play out during your next encounter with someone. Expectations can influence corporeal interactions and are symptomatic of all relationships, but it is during a period of absence and waiting that the majority of fantasies are generated. In relationships based on virtual interaction more fantastical expectations are fabricated because partners spend more time apart. Because body language, tone of voice and other important aspects of human communication are removed in new technologies, it is easy to misunderstand intention. Miscommunication can contribute to a build up of fantasy. When unmet, fantastical expectations lead to heartache and hysteria. This emotional aspect is present in my work along with representations of the build up before the breakdown and the blank spaces where the imagination acts. My images are evocative of unfulfilled desire, longing, and waiting, which speaks to the nature of the expectations created in virtual relationships.
My subject matter is often personal and drawn from my own experiences. Some of my work can be described as exhibitionist, because of the amount of personal material I offer to the viewer. This narcissistic display is reflective of the high-speed, post-internet culture I identify with. Printmaking has a history of being associated with mass media technology because of its capability for repetition and generating multiples through mechanical reproduction. My imagery is often photographic and/or contains text, which is reflective of the technological culture I place myself within. I use print to complicate technology's ephemeral nature, suggesting time and permanence through the tactile qualities of the medium and process. In intaglio, working on a copper plate allows layers to be created and erased, pushed back or pulled forward; the process becomes cyclical. The embossment of a plate on paper contrasts the fleeting nature of my source material and gives it tangibility. With the addition of drawing, evidence of the artist's hand disrupts the uniformity of digital reproduction. Nostalgia and sentimentality are able to enter my work because of the haptic quality of the medium, accentuating undertones of youth, memory, and naiveté.