Residency: July - September 2016
Thursday, October 6 from 6pm to 9pm
FLUTTER Studios - Prudential Building - 114 Alaskan Way S. Suite 104
More information available here!
Photo credit: Joe Freeman
Twin feelings of disappointment and curiosity encouraged me to leave my home in Florida in to look for a place where I could grow personally and artistically. This departure initiated my transition from a marine biology student confronted by the commercial exploitation of the Everglades to an assistant to adults with developmental disabilities in the Pacific Northwest. These distinct experiences changed my art-making process completely. Central to my work now is the belief that caregiving represents a potent means of transcending the implacable cycles of violence and decay.
At the conceptual core of my practice are theorists such as Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Hannah Arendt, as well as artists and filmmakers including Maya Deren, Yayoi Kusama, James Turrell, Tony Oursler, and Jean Painlevé. In their wildly divergent bodies of work I detect a common spirit of inquiry into the poetics and/or politics of emergent properties in nature and culture. My own work treads similar terrain through explorations of such dualities as: intimacy/strangeness, exteriority/interiority, and satiety/excess. Ultimately, I hope to use my work to point to the places where such distinctions break down, turning to a fecund, value-neutral mud.
To achieve this aim, my work is deliberately--and often frustratingly--polymorphous. Switching frequently between analog and digital, I use "waste" gleaned from sites such as microbiology labs, spam folders, and junk yards, and remake them into elements for sculpture, video, performance, and photography for my installations and videos. Themes of ecology, desire, and personal vulnerability are crossed with feminist narratives on consumption in an effort to confront fears of the future. The worlds I create present a façade of magical whimsy. Yet they are equally calculated to disorient, thus challenging viewers to question the passivity of their involvement, and to reimagine the narrative lenses through which we perceive, select, and move through our many possible futures.
Dakota's work can be seen at dakotagearhart.com
always be doodling
always be speculating
always be lusting
These are the words of the frustrated artist just trying to make a living. All I want to do is make work, but reality always seems to get in the way with applications, deadlines, day jobs, taxes, and networking opportunities. Instead of these chores wearing me down, I try to see wonder and beauty in the minutiae of domesticity and the doldrums of daily habits. Starscapes emerge from spilt house paint, the contents of my fridge become modernist paintings, and tacky landscape posters act as a vehicle for my self doubts and motivations. My only escape is a perspective of the world built upon speculation and fantasy.
I revel in the accidental, the banality of everyday life, and the precise act of breaking apart cardboard packaging. I utilize the castoffs of domestic life and the refuse that accumulates from being a consumer. I strive to continue making, at all costs from whatever materials I can grab hold of. The reward for work is more work. And I want to keep working.
Alexander's work can be seen at www.alexanderkeyes.com/