Strap On Series Body of Work: I am currently making a set of sculptures I lovingly call ‘Strap ons.’ They are highly decorative, functional only in their use for ceremony, and are made with the ability to be worn when not displayed for viewing. They are accompanied by photographs of myself wearing the strap ons that I call ‘dick pics’. It is important to me that each strap on is completely unique in its design – for they come across as having their own personality and…well, that is funny.
I am interested in loosely tying together concepts of gender, power, and sexuality with religious iconography in an effort to make slippery arrangements of signifiers that will speak differently to each viewer’s past life.
I enjoy the process of trying to guess how a choice I make creatively will read and then trying to make sure it has a ‘slipperiness’ to it so that there are easily other reads. If an aesthetic choice I make is too firm, I’ll counteract it with another choice to make sure it slips. I am trying to work in between things, in between genders where I mix the feminine and the masculine or the phallus with the labia and clitoris. In between where one person is reminded of a Native American ceremonial dress and the next person sees a horse bridal within the same sculpture.
I find slippery signification especially interesting when it comes to religion. As one society colonizes and overtakes another, the religious aesthetic does some mixing and changing – breeding all new ways of showing devotion for the faithful. The aesthetic of the Mexican Catholic and the Virgin Guadalupe is a perfect example of this mixing. I feel as if I, as an American, take and mash together global aesthetics everywhere in my life – at a heightened speed with the internet. And doing this within my work is pointing to the world we live in within the U.S. – being at the top of a globalized, post-colonialist, capitalist system.
Why gender roles, sexuality, power and religion? Religion is an institutional tool that helps to enforce patriarchy. I’m using the in between as a place to subvert and resist the categories and roles placed on all of us via our gender. These strap ons are made for male or female or trans. They are made to question patriarchy in a humorous manner- a question for anyone who cares to do so.
MORE ————Overall Statement—————–
I use each medium as a tool to analyze the multifarious, interlaced facets of being human. Her sculpture work focuses on the body, power and gender while her photography work approaches us humans with emotive and often psychologically charged portraits. In the group of photographs in ‘An Afternoon with Jean’ I use softness, moody lighting and color
in order to produce mysterious narratives about the subject that also implicates the photographer psychologically. My sculpture, ‘C28,H33’, is a grotesquely colored ‘body’ bag. The title references a score in the war between the organic- hard to control- natural body and the structure we try to place on ourselves with societal expectations and even fashion. In my mind, plaid represents this effort at control with straight lines making grids across a curvy body shape. It is also associated with masculinity within our culture.
I am interested in our bodies, their weight, the actual corporeal feeling of them, our denial of them, hybridity, sexuality. I am interested in religious and ceremonial aesthetics and symbolism- how we as humans make sense of ourselves. I think about our relationships with the natural world -plants, animals, the human-created and destroyed (technology in the broad sense of the word or more accurately, maybe, the primary sense of the word). Sometimes human folly makes me cringe and sometimes I rejoice in the never-ending absurdity of us, which is where humor comes in.