Current projects speak to my interest in using identity as a diagnostic tool to explore social values and pathologies. The process may be humorous, as in the choice of my cooking show character, a hapless host whose ironic naivete bespoke an undercurrent of comedy, or tragic, as in the character of my Nashville music star, trying to warble her way through heartache. A project is brought to realization as performances are interwoven among hand-pulled prints, drawings, paintings, set design, and installation.
The Cooking at Home series of videos was inspired in part by Martha Rosler's "Semiotics of the Kitchen", in part by Julia Child, and in part by the comedic stylings of Gilda Radnor. As a parody of the over-saturated genre of the cooking show, the episodic series is also meant to eschew traditional values on painting and art-making in general. Jenny Dove, my country music singer, believes with all her heart that she can be Loretta Lynn, and although she doesn’t have the pipes or the fame, she establishes a place for herself in the record of time with her carefully curated propaganda. The Jenny Dove exhibit was designed to question what role manufactured memorabilia of individual desire might have in a fine art context increasingly obsessed with the personal narrative.
The Donor Series was initiated by the experience of donating my eggs to a fertility clinic. The application process required me to elaborate upon my physical characteristics as well as the attributes of my personality, and the expository nature of the application led me to wonder by which standards I was being selected. Naturally curious as to what the offspring might look like, I started drawing their portraits, imaginatively melding my DNA with the DNA of the potential father, in a reversal of the online dating game I had performed with my eggs. I also wrote letters to the portraits, elaborations on the short answer essays I had composed for the application; brief, warm, personal anecdotes to ghosts.
In collaboration with the Master Printer of Shoestring Press, the original graphite drawings were translated into etching, lithography and silkscreen prints. The piece of copper in intaglio, the stone in lithography, any support from which a print is pulled is known as the matrix, from the latin mater, describing a female animal used for breeding, and to my purpose a serendipitous conjunction. The printed image has allowed for an exploration of variations to the original. Making all the editions variable, I altered each image by hand to provide for a new portrait, while maintaining familial similarity among sets.
My research is strongly based in drawing and painting, as I find the greatest facility with these traditional mediums, but the nature of each endeavor often leads to an additional exploration of mediums in order to meet its potential. Video and performance offer movement, installation provides for the immersive experiences I desire, and working with musicians, photographers, dancers and designers has become essential to the development of the character at the center of each project.