I am a young American artist, educated in Germany, living and working in East London. My background is in fine art, with a specialism in video, installation and performance art, and a strong emphasis on the fine detail of production – both in fabricating my props, staging sets, creating or collecting objects and artifacts, and editing and presenting my work in an exhibition context. More recently I have begun working as a director with actors to create work in the context of artist’s moving image, both in video and film, which feels like an increasingly important part of my practice.
My work critically examines themes of re-enactment, cultural appropriation, obsolescence and perpetual desire, revelling in the way popular images modulate individual behavior. By re-interpreting antiquated popular imagery, my work teases out the ways individuals stage themselves by embodying familiar scripts and inherited styles. I am interested in how we subjugate our daily interactions to ready-made objects of desire, reduplicating representations as `reality´.
Using anachronistic images and antique found objects, the aesthetic of my videos and installations assume their future obsolescence, where what was modern becomes retrograde. Themes of nostalgia and cultural appropriation are often woven into narrative video, where characters’ conflicting desires converge upon banal consumer objects – lipsticks, refrigerators, shoes.
I use the visual conventions of painterly compositions, advertising, and immediately recognisable archetypal characters to create surreal sequences in mundane spaces that resonate with the iconography of familiar brands. Often, my work explores the incongruity of a mediated ideal and the idiosyncratic subject via a cinematic protagonist, who, in trying to negotiate the scripted world of objects, struggles through the re-enactment of a pre-determined narrative ellipse.
While moving image is at the heart of my work, I expand this narrative space by assimilating and redeploying found materials in gallery installations: whether recuperating the vintage refrigerator brand `Frigidaire´ in a neon sign anagram, redeploying it as a fictitious airline in an airplane cabin installation with seat-back monitors showing 1950′s commercials for domestic appliances, or inviting the viewer to use an engineered lipstick for `scratching´ through a video loop where a filmically hysterical woman applies and re-applies her make-up. Through this kind of visual, physical and psychological interaction with the work, I seek to implicate the viewer in the remediation of their needs as perpetual desires.