Repetition and accumulation are major parts of my aesthetic approach to art-making. The knot has become central in my aesthetic vocabulary – linked to fetishism, connectivity and familial ties, while the act of tying knots is a method of coping with anxiety – reinforced through repetitive behavior.
Using minimalism as an aesthetic reference point, the post-minimalist sentiment of this work utilizes grids or seriality, themes found in minimalism which are conversely hand-made, re-introducing a human element into the art, in contrast to the machine-made works of minimalism. Another post-minimalist characteristic of this art piece is the emphasis on process - the gathering, sorting, assembling and patterning of the work which takes precedence over the finished product. The materials used and their placement on the wall give all meaning to the work. There is a tactile, bodily connection to the piece delicately structured through a painstaking processes of repetition, accumulation and seriality.
The hand of the maker is evident in the final work. The dark silk emulates dedication to surface, texture and touch through puckering of material, points of tension and release in continuation throughout the piece, where the fetish broaches the ritualistic. The tangible physical form implies a desire to communicate. Gaping, mouthlike orifices posture the intense need to express or let something out. Conversation, communication or the act of purging is implicit within this gesture of release, where knots and ties pour from the surface, invading the space of the viewer, and thus causing confrontation and contemplation. When the knots enter our space, the work demands interaction and reflection. The outpour can be viewed as a necessary cleansing. The upholstered objects can be seen as seductive, comical, weighted, erotic or absurd. The seductive material invites contemplation where the viewer can glean a poetic, emotional narrative of tension and release.
The upholstered objects can be seen as decoration or craft fused with content. The inherent nature of comfort or pleasure comes from the bodily relationship to cushions as well as the domestic origins of the practice itself. The overt relationship to intimate processes is challenged by the violence built into the act of upholstering. This piece utilized hundreds if not thousands of staples to affix the upholstered objects to shaped plywood. The aggressive repeated action of stapling bruised my hand in the process of making the work – confronting the dichotomy of hard and soft hidden within the piece. The meticulous, labor intensive repetition mirrors the inverse qualities of obsession – how it can both alleviate and cause stress. This work holds a connection to themes of inverse relationships and obsessive behavior in the everyday.