During my residency at MASS MoCa, I have been pursuing the idea of Insincere Objects. In my work, I think of the relationship between objects and the body and how this creates meaning. Insincere in this body of work refers to the play of montage and photography with ideas of what is false, fake, and artificial .
I employ everyday materials to create performative photo where the body and these mass-produced found objects are co-joined. I make use of strategies such as montage in an investigation of how context structures the way objects are understood and perceived. Through a process of decontextualization and through the selective point of view of the camera lens objects loose their inherent identity.
My choice of materials starts with scale and objects such as fabric, fake hair, knick knacks, plastic fruits and flowers that have a relationship to the body. A common trait among all these things is the idea of intimacy, and an a sense of the mundane, they have a throwaway quality to them. I use these objects as if they were a palette. In my compositions, materials and objects are arranged pictorially together, creating forced relationships.
The notion of “Insincerity” also refers to the qualities of sculptural space that are created within the frame of the two dimensional photographic image. The representational space of photography enacts a flattening and distortion of space that leads to all kinds of comparisons between physical space of “reality” and the flat space of the photo.
By re-contextualizing objects I reflect on their value. Objects acquire value in many ways. By changing their context, these easily replaced mass-produced things seem to acquire accrued value by the way they are placed, treated, and presented. I consider the mediated nature of reality as well as photography’s relationship to the production of desires. The photographic becomes an image of both the desire and the desired.
Using objects that have been commercially produced as subject matter also contextualizes photography as an extension of industry and commerce. With that frame of reference, I consider how stylistic elements, composition, colour, and the flat universe of the photo have become content. Through my work process I am playing with the social life of things and through these address the material culture that surrounds us.
View from my studio window
Works in progress
MASS MoCa Residency December 2 -23, 2016