My work explores the question: how is my identity formed by my participation in, and rejection of, entrenched constructions gender, and what are the tools of that construction?
I look for evidence in garbage heaps, trash bags, bus stop advertisements, posters, subway ads and the internet, to garner from the mundanity of mass culture the subtle and explicit ways gendered bodies are configured. In this way, the City itself becomes a material and visual resource, a treasure trove, as walking through its streets allows me to daily consider the psychic life of the City by analyzing the consumption habits of its populace. How is consumption made visible? What is left after consumption?
The products/detritus/waste of private life is made public when it is cast to the curb; clear, plastic trash bags show what has been eaten, used up, processed by human consumption; old furniture speaks of years, even decades, of the interior life of a private home. What line in the public/private realm do we breach when we take another person’s garbage?
The piece garbage site is part of an interactive webpage that centers around two figures from my sculptural work FAMILY GARBAGE. The figures’ bodies are physically constructed of garbage--their protruding bellies filled with detritus of daily life: receipts, food wrappers, crumpled paper, bits of cloth and pieces of candy; their bulk formed from fabric, plaster and slippery tyvek suits. The hybridity of these bodies relates to a confused, anxious, and unsuccessful process of identification that produces melancholia--an inability to successfully incorporate the elements of their environment into an appealing, appeasing form.
Floating objects lurk in the space around these two central figures on the web page. One of these objects, the egg carton, links to an external page, garbage site, a visual journal of garbage collected around New York City, some of the same materials that construct my sculptural figures. This growing collection of decontextualized garbage seeks to illuminate seemingly innocuous representations of femininity. Of particular interest to me are cultural associations of femininity with foods like milk, fruit and sweets, and with animals like hens, geese, and cows. How have these associations been discarded by our culture, and how have they been bought into?