Saturday, August 11, 2007

Incessant wanting.

In the space of absence.


Intimacy. Fear. Proximity. Disturbing nearness. Loss of shallow distance. Contamination. Enclosure. Enclusion. Exclusion. Exception. Endless waiting. Out of place. Out of time. Out of tune. Profound unsettling. Mode of eradication. Intolerance. Non-recognition. Residue. Degeneration of public space. Incessant wanting. Defense mechanism of self enclosure. Numbness.



...The 'state of emergency' in which we live is not the exception but the rule
(Walter Benjamin, 1940).

I hide my own culpability in consumer whoring. Yet my collecting, harvesting, and acquiring has been redirected to objects of decay found along the street side. I am drawn to the symbolic and formal elements of decay, the way in which an object has been altered by its mere existence. The worn, broken, torn nature of the aged object seems to make it more real, more honest. So I collect decayed urban refuse. I hold onto it for awhile. Cogitate. Eventually the formal and symbolic elements of the materials and my current research meld. Then I make. The making is a visceral reaction against the cult of the instant, the new, the forever young, forever fertile with its pushed up breast and swollen lips, a reaction against perpetual numbness and defense mechanisms of self enclosure. Cognitively, emotionally, I am a full participant in our capital culture. But I find myself making, assembling, revaluing objects of refuse, moving from spectation toward production, not mechanized but sensualized by the hand, by my hand. Mind and body working in rebellion, in synch; the nonsense and sense merge as coherent objects. The sculptural constructs become a stand in for the shadow self, an empty self.

6 comments:

Dean said...

The making is a visceral reaction against the cult of the instant, the new, the forever young, forever fertile with its pushed up breast and swollen lips, a reaction against perpetual numbness and defense mechanisms of self enclosure.

Is it always a reaction, against, contra? Does it have to be a Hegelian Dialectical gesture? Can't it be a celebration? We are by nature omnivores. We must consume. Yes, we have complicated and abstracted that act but it is still fundamentally the same act fulfilling the same instinctual, basic need.

Dean said...

What I like about your work is that it salvages the found material from which it is constructed. By "salvage" I mean that it symbolically invests new life into the object. Your work reincarnates the material and grants it a second purpose, a second life. I don't mean to get animistic or sentimental about industrial foam or inner tubes and I don't think you do either. Your work operates on a metaphorical level that is communicated through symbolic and formal constructions and it is both the end result and the sensual labor intensive process that you engage in that speak to me.

To appropriate your own metaphor, your work celebrates the supple but sagging breast, the creased, calloused hand, the kissworn lips: not young, not old, not forever but here, now fertile, febrile, frayed, fragile incessantly wanting but not so facilely satisfied.

Kathryn Kelley said...

Dang Dean,
I am going to have to contemplate Hegelian dialectic. Of course I simply had to look it up first--which reveals my lack of education in the classics.

"The Hegelian dialectic is the framework for guiding our thoughts and actions into conflicts that lead us to a predetermined solution. If we do not understand how the Hegelian dialectic shapes our perceptions of the world, then we do not know how we are helping to implement the vision. When we remain locked into dialectical thinking, we cannot see out of the box. Hegel's dialectic is the tool which manipulates us into a frenzied circular pattern of thought and action.

Every time we fight for or defend against an ideology we are playing a necessary role in Marx and Engels' grand design to advance humanity into a dictatorship of the proletariat."
Niki Raapana and Nordica Friedrich

"Dialectic ....the Hegelian process of change in which a concept or its realization passes over into and is preserved and fulfilled by its opposite... development through the stages of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis in accordance with the laws of dialectical materialism ....any systematic reasoning, exposition, or argument that juxtaposes opposed or contradictory ideas and usually seeks to resolve their conflict ... the dialectical tension or opposition between two interacting forces or elements."
Merriam-Webster

Kathryn Kelley said...

Dean,
Just rereading and noting that my blogger of 1 has serious skills. Just in case I haven't mentioned your comments and challenges have really helped me in thinking, making and writing. It sharpens/refines me in a good way. And your initial invitation and ongoing ones into the ArtSpeak group have and are helping me establish myself as an artist (and I just like being included).

Thought I'ld tell you in case you didn't know.

Still contemplating Hegelian dialectic and finding it currently very applicable...

"...Hegel's dialectic is the tool which manipulates us into a frenzied circular pattern of thought and action...Every time we fight for or defend against an ideology we are playing a necessary role in Marx and Engels' grand design to advance humanity into a dictatorship of the proletariat."

I am currently caught in this frenzied circular pattern at csaw...any attempt I've made so far to step outside of this appears to have lead to an advancement in csaw dictatorship. So if you know of any good studio/warehouse space I might escape csaw too I would be greatful.

Soon though you'll see pictures of a new work I am making for a january show...the piece is called suckling is continuous (ha! You'll like this one)

Mucho thank yous
Greatful ramblings after midnight on a another sleepless night

Jim Kelley said...

speaking of sleepless nights, where's the link to your boyfriend's blog?

Calvin Ross Carl said...

Hiding one's fault in consumer whoring seems to be part of the job description of being an artist. We all hate to admit that consumerism and capitalism keeps us alive, but it is a shame that these are the systems upon which we depend.

I found your site, and artwork (which is quite fantastic), because you are the only Blogger user besides myself that has Postminimalism listed as an interest. And I am glad I found your blog.