I am interested in non-fixity—the dissonance of contradiction, the activity of the unsettled, the slipperiness of the unnamed. The history of beads and beadwork is heavy with instances of transformation, contradiction, and transition, and puts non-fiction and non-fixion to work together. Linked with histories of colonialism, femininity, labor, costume, and craft, beads upset dynamics of power, identity, value, and taste. They slide in and out of positive and negative associations, at once cheapening and elevating, acting as both critical signifiers and rebellious agents of play. Applied to an existing object, beads mist over their foundation while still relying on and referring back to it; woven, they arrange neatly into a grid, but a grid that sags and teases its Modernist associations. This constant slippage and transformational tendency of beads allows for works that have a vibratory self-consciousness: Ambiguous in their relationship to their own form, they alternate between hesitantly accepting and defiantly evading their proximity to painting, sculpture and craft. Heavy and irregular, they flop and embarrass their gridded structure and tedious, delicate conception, disturbing and resisting themselves. Wandering along (and between) multiple lines of possibility, they enact non-fixity without denying or ducking material specificity, transforming without transcending.
Non-Fixions focuses on challenging categories of artistic objects, making pieces that vibrate between the language of painting, sculpture, and various forms of craft, unsettled in their “objecthoods.”
Noting the tendency to fetishize craft objects (in the gallery) for their materiality and labor, (which limits craftwork to the status of static objects or artifacts despite the history of craft as a collection of practices that create useful, interactive objects) I’m interested in transmuting craft practices and materials, inserting them into the dialogue surrounding other art practices. This is a move which intends both to challenge the pigeonholing of craft practices in art conversations as well as to use craft to disrupt the language of other art practices.
With Non-Fixions, I’ve specifically aimed to extract and recombine the roster of material, historical, and conceptual components of paintings and assemble them with materials, techniques, and approaches of craft. Jumping off from painting’s relationship with textiles (canvas is both a fabric and a painting surface), I introduce hand-woven, beaded textiles into the support-surface tension of painting. Combined with other craft and otherwise ‘minor’ materials (wooden dowels, home décor fixtures, enamel paint), the resulting works are composed, assembled, and crafted to sit uncomfortably somewhere between craft objects, paintings, and sculpture—irresolute in their relationship to the wall, uncertain of their dimensionality, unconvinced of their situation in an art space. Vibrating with the shifting historical and material properties of beadwork, themes of value (in relation to labor, material worth, and economic viability), fashion (thinking of taste, accessory-scale commodities, and fanciness) and design (questions of conscious designed display versus the invisible gallery install) surround the work.
As an interrogation of the categories of art objects and practices, Non-Fixions aims to heighten awareness of expectations by disappointing them. Despite artists’ continual upending of what art can be, biases of what art should be continues to be reinforced by categories and dichotomies. My uncertain, unsettled objects aim to reveal the continued presence of these categories by making us wonder what exactly about them is unsettling at all.