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Made In China

....Made In China references the discrepancy between China’s rich history of art and culture and its controversial modern reality. Utilizing the aesthetics of traditional Chinese scroll paintings, this series focuses attention on the country’s current political, economic, and social conflict. It views China’s past and present as an alchemy of beauty, culture, control, and contradiction.



Tropicália, or
Bread and Circuses

....Colorful, sensual, musical, and boisterous, Brazilian public celebrations are exuberant national rituals involving processions and parades that wend their way down main streets of towns with multi-colored flags over head and music in the air. In addition to providing respite from life’s hardships and license to drop one’s inhibitions, such festivals can also be seen as historically developed "bread and circuses" offerings by the political and economic elite meant to pacify the discontent of the poor and oppressed. This "bread and circuses" approach to maintaining power seems all too prevalent today, not only in Brazil, but also around the world and in our own back yard.

....Such practices have extended to an institutional division of public and private space in Brazil, rendering the majority of people without property or prosperity. Those who possess private space often protect it with broken glass slicing upward from walls surrounding their property. These protective shards of glass stand as embodiments of the country’s history of slavery, colonialism, racism, and nationalism.

....Underneath the surface of their vibrant community festivals, there exists a jagged reminder that private space and resources remain largely unattainable by most. Finding festival flags dancing in the wind as they sliced down from the sky and shards of glass slicing upward from walls below, I saw a similarity in form that pointed to this larger cultural phenomenon. In this case, form and function were inseparable. My work seeks to address the dynamics of power, suffering, and celebration in the context of such festive and oppressive extremes.









Doppelganger

....Doppelganger juxtaposes images of damaged Peruvian mannequins with self-portraits taken after a bus accident that left my face similarly wounded. The series functions as an investigation of the continuum between self and other, exhibitionist and voyeur, spectator and performer. A combination of horror and humor, the images evoke feelings of both pain and pleasure. Having completed a separate photographic series on scars before my journey, I felt as though I had found kindred spirits in the marked faces of the mannequins populating Peruvian shops. Kindred spirit or doppelganger, became the real question. Had photographing scars and then these wounded mannequins foreshadowed my own injury? Had the mannequins served as a warning? Or, had I brought about this situation through my own curiosity? Challenging the nature of experience, chance, serendipity, and fate, Doppelganger highlights the manner in which we both reflect and re-order the world around us in pursuit of self-discovery.

 



Thin Skinned Thick

....Simultaneously functioning as a reminder of mortality and symbol of survival, a scar has the power to individualize, aestheticize, violate, and even enliven the person who bears it. As a psychological and visceral trigger, the scar confronts us both personally and collectively. My work seeks to address the scar as an agent of strength, sensuality, conflict, and beauty.

(When exhibited, these photographs are accompanied by an audio component, which consists of these people speaking about themselves and their photographs).

Seduce Me

....As the icons of Christianity's ideology were, and in some places are, ubiquitous throughout the west, the modern individual is inundated with commercial images, which present what is now considered to be ideal. Using a strategy of creating desire - desire for love, perfection, the erotic, the ideal - and promising to consummate that desire has proven highly influential in both the Christian and commercial realms. Equally dependent on image, the success of both systems lay in the power of seduction.




 

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