MFA Thesis

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NARCISSUS’ NEMESIS OR THE LOCH NESS MONSTER

Impermanence has always intrigued me. I am interested in the idea that everything was created from particles of energy that appear to be nothing, and that all things will eventually return to nothing. It is with this realization in mind that I set out intuitively and spontaneously to create a three-dimensional work, knowing it will only exist temporarily. It will inevitably be destroyed, or transformed, and will possibly become part of another installation; but each piece will never exist in the same form again.

Narcissus’ Nemesis or the Loch Ness Monster is a body of work that was developed in response to the large amount of junk and discarded remnants that usually blankets the sidewalks and gutters of several Los Angeles streets. Wandering up and down these suffocating streets that were designed to constrain people and automobiles much like the solid, concrete walls of a prison, I occasionally stumble upon items that I acquire to serve as found objects in a piece of art work. These are not just any materials but those which seem to have had their own life, their own history. I believe objects that have had a previous existence before I happen upon them lend a sense of character, history, and authenticity to a sculpture or installation. In other words, these found objects embody a certain life of their own, they carry around traces of their history like we carry with us our memories.   As used objects, they were created to serve a specific function throughout their lives, such as an old palette used to ship out consumer goods. Others, such as fence posts, were made out of the need to divide property. None of these objects possessed a life beyond their initial responsibility.

I listen to these retired veterans as I smuggle them into the studio, many of whom are aged far beyond my years and have stories of the development of Los Angeles to share. It is always a strong, powerful object that serves as the anchor in my work. For example, in the piece entitled The Loch Ness Monster or the Misuse of Negative Space, the sculpture revolves around a projector mounted on a door. The image of the Loch Ness Monster is projected on the floor, mimicking the rectangle shape of the window frame on the floor space opposite the door. After establishing a gesture for the piece, I quiet my mind and let my intuition take the wheel. It is in this space where I feel there is a delicate balance between being assertive and being receptive to the direction the art will take. It is here that I break free of normative systems and constraints and channel my own life force and energy into the work to challenge the status quo.

It is the process of creating the work that intrigues me most, the process where the logical and rational mind is lost, including those brief moments when control is surrendered to the piece and one is forced to look to it for guidance. I am constantly working on “letting go” in order to live completely in the present, with no concern for those moments which have passed or those yet to come. My work is therefore heavily rooted in the notions of transformation and impermanence. By obtaining objects in a state of decay and introducing them to a new life or way of being I am continuously reminded of my physical and psychological being, and how they are constantly being altered, dying and being reborn. I was created and I too shall be destroyed. Why not be conscious of this in the days and nights between these two acts?