Expiring ideals, shifting values, and reductive and suffocating social norms are connecting themes within my work. Lately, I explore these areas through people’s collections of things and their personal delineations between garbage, artifacts, art, and resalable items. Through these observations, I respond with casual renditions of sumptuous objects or mechanical-seeming, utilitarian devices, to convey these broad identity systems of things. They are tableaus of materials thrifted and antiqued, as well as personal items donated, lost, broken, or thrown away.
In a past project, “Forcing Devices,” I designed wearable sculptures to address potential social flaws in the user. As I was making them, I saw them as failing panaceas for more broadly cultural social dilemmas in America. They intermediate uncomfortable situations but contradict themselves in their form. Because they are clunky steel contraptions, they inadvertently amplify what they seek to cloak; They are destructively over-eager in providing simple solutions to complex problems.
Most recently, I’ve been exploring ways of manipulating found objects to reflect a confusion I have between parody, crudity, pastiche, sincerity, and loss of memory. This work combines historical artifacts with futuristic-seeming items to appear amorphous in time. References have included medical equipment, torture devices, relics, sporting goods, faux fancy home décor, silicon cooking tools, and antique plastic. Some referenced objects inform the mechanics of my sculptures, but most are directly harvested for parts. I’ve found influences in 70s and 80s representations of gothic horror stories, blatant sexual innuendo in American films and music videos, and modern renditions of Victorian era objects. I think as these aesthetic themes become repeated tropes, they blend time, both erasing historical fact but also accidentally connecting generations of people who are otherwise becoming amnesiacs to their own cultural and familial histories. The objects I collect for these assemblages are personal, each one selected because it feels like a fabricated memory I could have had, or maybe had, or that I coveted.