Studio Resident (2019-2020)
Statement of Work
… love does not cling to an I, as if the You were merely its ‘content’ or object; it is between I and You…
Relation is reciprocity. My You acts on me as I act on it.
-Martin Buber, I and Thou
Inspired by my relationships, I look at physical and mental closeness through my work and how it differs with friends, family, and lovers in my life. I create new spaces for connections between people by exploring physical distances that relate to existing mental intimate spaces. I address this feeling through constructing large scale sculptural apparatuses that encapsulate human intimacies.
In making the work, I look into myself to find what mental and physical intimacies I share with others to then decide the performers’ proximity. I write often about my relationships to understand better what they mean to me; this is my type of research. I highly value the equality and trust between connections that I continually find. For this body of work, it’s essential for me to show that all of the pieces have this constant reciprocity. When these apparatuses give agency to the wearers to be closer together, they have a more accessible mental intimacy. They create a need to hold, or give attention, and are allowed to do so in such proximity. It is this attention and care I want the viewer to feel. With wearers being farther apart, they’re forced to make this intimate relation work over distance. Their comfort is strained, and efforts are tested; these pieces require the most strength and trust to continue their intimacy. It is the balance and reciprocity in emotions that allow these long-distance relationships to work. It is this will and longing I want the viewer to feel.
Considered materials, such as stretchy fabric, are exploited to be more intimate due to the pushing, pulling, and the strain put on these materials to be flexible. These colors relate to the body and internal anatomy creating a stronger bond from apparatus to wearer. Yellow in relation to the body is a sign of disease and a reminder to me of the lines in the middle of the road. How five-hundred miles or so feels like an incredible distance and weight, and my connection at this length suffers from heartache. The connection is sweet, two trying to see each other, yet the means are foul due to the distance. Keeping in touch seems like an impossible feat, yet that same yellow is the intimacy that stretches the distance and connects them. Although most of these pieces I relate to my relationship with my boyfriend, it’s not exclusive to just us. I feel a longing for my parents as I am away at school, and I feel I can talk, and let things off my chest with my girlfriends in the same respect. I had a vision for the pink chest tube piece after I had a conversation with my best friend about her boyfriend troubles. I took that weight for her, allowed her to breathe, and she’s done the same for me. These mental intimacies are not exclusive to a sexual relationship, and I believe my work encourages the viewer to think differently about that.
These works are also centered around trust and balance. As stated before, it is critical to have reciprocity in my pieces. In creating these works, allowing for an equal back and forth expression, the performers can have confidence in each other that they’ll be there to catch the weight and be there to embrace.