Statement

“To have dismantled one’s self in order finally to be alone and meet the true double at the other end of the line. A clandestine passenger on a motionless voyage. To become like everybody else; but this, precisely, is a becoming only for one who knows how to be nobody, to no longer be anybody.” ~ Gilles Deleuze, A Thousand Plateaus (1980)

Growing up as an only-child I have always been a bit of a loner. I have also, for as long as I can remember, been very curious about self-observation. Somehow I always felt like I have never fully witnessed myself; as though I’ve only ever caught glimpses and impersonations as Deleuze suggests. This is like standing in between two mirrors trying to see myself without my reflection in the way…

What do I look like from the outside looking in? Who am I to someone else? I repeatedly ask the following: In what ways can I truly see myself as an individual? One among many…or one alone? Grounded in existential thought and postmodern reflexivity, I am very curious about the possibilities for self-discovery and the exposure/examination of obstacles that are encountered in the observation of one’s self-image. In an increasingly ‘selfie-centered’ global society, where individualism and egotism erode at the boundaries of collectivism, a practice-based examination of self-image and agency becomes a shard for scratching the surface of my observations on contemporary self-identity.

Within the lenses of human development and self-concept, one can’t help but think of the Lacanian mirror stage. My earliest memories are indeed mirror reflections of myself as a toddler, cutting my own hair with a pair of green Crayola scissors or seeing myself in my mother’s arms in the reflection of the mirror above the couch. As I grew, I became very fond of that mirror, standing on our couch and looking through that mirror for what seems like days on end, observing the reflection of myself in the environment that surrounded me. As I‘ve continued to grow (into simply an older child), I’ve found new ways of observing myself and seeing myself in the world. Art-making became my new mirror, and as such opened a window into an endless landscape of apperceptions of my identity.

As such, I see the artworks that I produce as the residue of these brief problematic, encounters with aspects of my authentic, independent self; they are more or less aesthetic artifacts of self-reflexivity discovered and examined in the process of my attempts to, as Deleuze describes, “dismantle one’s self”. In this process of deconstructing, or “dismantling”,  I expose certain motifs (mostly barriers) such as vessels, boxes and containers, fences, tunnels, and occasionally… bridges. These forms find their way into conceptually entertaining abstractions: a sculptural installation of a subterranean tunnel through the core of the Earth that only I can fit through, or a migratory twin pirate radio station intertwined and lost in transmission, or precariously formed blown glass place-markers and cairns can be found among the fractured debris.

Occasionally offering clarity and perspective, but more often further obfuscating the obvious, these sculptural objects, installations, and performance-based events give content and context to the difficulties of this quixotic process. As Deleuze suggests there is always a “double” that is standing in my way. As I seek out my “clandestine passenger on a motionless voyage”, I repeatedly discover that the ‘authentic’ individual seems to be forever fleeting…

(06.2016; updated 01.2017; updated 04.2018, updated 04.2019)