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artist statement

I like to play with the everyday; I like the idea that things in the everyday can become charged depending on how they are shown and what they are placed next to. Working across film, text, photography, drawing and installation, I want to analyze how we define ‘things’.

 

By classifying something, we attempt to arrange it according to its characteristics. My question is: can something be unclassifiable? Are we able to look at something without assigning meaning to it?

 

In ‘Thing Theory’ (2001) Bill Brown describes how we start to confront the thingness of objects when “when they stop working for us: when the drill breaks, when the car stalls, when the windows get filthy, when their flow within the circuits of production and distribution, consumption and exhibition, has been arrested, however momentarily”. In other words, when an object relinquishes function, we are forced to view it without its signification. Through drawings, photographs and scans, I skew and warp banal objects into bizarre and uncanny situations by disengaging and disassociating them with their original functions.

 

Perhaps it is a Freudian justification behind our perception of banal things that cause them to become charged, their shape, their size, whether they’re phallic or tubal. ‘Uncanny’ is Freud’s term that describes a perverted fascination for something uncomfortable. More importantly, the uncanny is familiar, and therefore this intimacy has the power to overstep our boundaries and create a sense of tension. In this way, my videos explore the relationship with objects via sensuality. Where the erotic charge can be seen to be Freudian, it is also about the dialogue and relationship between us and our objects. By assigning a function and category to the objects, we also take control. I want to explore how we can equalize this relationship, how we can relinquish power and have empathy with everyday objects.

 

I am interested in a form of non-creative writing (I never write my texts, simply select and construct them) and creating poetry from objective language. Manuals are constructed to be as clear and informative as possible. I appropriate this form of writing as a way of creating drawings with words. My written pieces are taken from manuals, where the language is dry, instructive and highly specialist. I use these as descriptions for my objects, as they become as equally charged as the objects, when they are taken out of their original context.

 

My control and character as an artist is something that I constantly speculate and experiment with- the relationship to my materials need not be personal. I could put myself into the role of anyone – as a scientist, or an archaeologist. In this way, my work is a constantly shifting process that moves between truth and false fact.

I create environments and installations that relate back to an institutional context, whether it be a museum, school or office – my creations lie in their own time-zone, somewhere between reality and surreality, drawing on the sense of the uncanny. Every component of the installation relates to a background excursion or story, which is fictional, but still rooted in my present surroundings.

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