Self as State/as Self

August 2017

BorderLands, King Street Station, Seattle, WA

Commissioned by the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture


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"The installation is possibly the show’s best: gorgeous in execution, merciless in its critique. Her carrot-and-stick method will leave you laughing (however sourly) and examining your own complicity. The most masterly elements of the work, however, are three embroidered pillows, each offering a critique on the subjects of life, love and laughter. The generic three-part slogan speaks to a shared desire for properity while pointing to internalized conditions impeding this. Love, reads one, like you haven’t been conditioned by being force-fed billions of dollars worth of cleverly designed marketing over a lifetime to believe yourself invaluable."

-Margo Vansynghel, Cityarts Magazine


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Text sewn on banner:

THIS BANNER IS THE PRODUCT OF A MISGUIDED ATTEMPT TO ACHIEVE AN UNACHIEVABLE CAPITALIST IDEAL. 

THIS BANNER, ALTHOUGH INTENDED AS AN ACT OF RESISTANCE, IS FUNCTIONING WITHIN AND UPHOLDING REPRESSIVE COLONIZED SYSTEMS DICTATING THAT OUR SELF-WORTH BE RELIANT ON OUR PRODUCTIVE OUTPUT, AS DETERMINED BY PEOPLES AND INSTITUTIONS THAT HAVE LITTLE OR NO INTEREST IN OUR EMOTIONAL, MENTAL OR PHYSICAL WELL-BEING.

THIS BANNER IS IMPOSSIBLE TO SEPARATE FROM THE CIRCUMSTANCES THAT CREATED IT, AS WELL ITS IMAGINED OUTCOME, AS DREAMT OF AND HOPED FOR BY THE ARTIST.

THESE OUTCOMES INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:

1. ADMIRATION OF SPECTATORS

2. RESPECT FROM PEERS

3. PRIDE OF PARENTS

4. JEALOUSY OF ILL-WISHERS

5. RECOGNITION FROM AFOREMENTIONED REPRESSIVE INSTITUTIONS

6. INCREASE OF SELF WORTH AND COMMENCEMENT OF IDEAL HAPPY LIFE THE END


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Handwritten graphite text on wall:

THERE IS TEXT ON THIS WALL BECAUSE: 1) IT WAS DECIDED EARLY IN THE PLANNING STAGES OF THIS INSTALLATION THAT THERE WOULD BE TEXT ON THIS WALL, AND 2) OTHERWISE THIS WALL WOULD BE EMPTY AND DECIDEDLY UNSIGHTLY, AND A TOO HONEST REFLECTION OF THE UNDER RESOURCED AND OVERWORKED CONDITIONS IN WHICH THIS INSTALLATION WAS CREATED. NOT ONLY WOULD THIS EMPTY WALL DISTURB OUR STANDARDS OF AESTHETICS, BUT IT WOULD DEPRESS AND SADDEN US. NOT THAT WE MIND BEING DEPRESSED AND SADDENED BY ART, AS LONG AS SAID ART IS READILY CONSUMABLE, TOOK AN APPROPRIATE AMOUNT OF LABOR TO CREATE, AND SATISFIES OUR VISUAL AND CONCEPTUAL CRAVINGS. 

CONVERSELY, AN EMPTY WALL THAT IS A DIRECT RESULT OF THIS INSTALLATION, DESPITE HAVING THE INTENTION AND APPEARANCE OF AN ACT OF RESISTANCE, FUNCTIONING WITHIN A GLOBAL NEOLIBERAL MARKET SOCIETY THAT ENCOURAGES CONSTANT PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION AT INCREASINGLY UNSUSTAINABLE LEVELS WITH LITTLE SUPPORT FOR SAID PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION, IS IMPOLITE AND LAZY.

THEREFORE, THERE IS TEXT ON THIS WALL. 

THE TEXT ON THIS WALL BOLSTERS THE ILLUSION THAT THIS INSTALLATION IS AN ACT OF RESISTANCE: 1) BY DRAWING ATTENTION TO THE ARTIST’S AWARENESS OF THEIR OWN COMPLICITY IN AFOREMENTIONED GLOBAL NEOLIBERAL MARKET SOCIETIES, AND 2) BY USING PROGRESSIVE RADICAL LANGUAGE THAT CONVENIENTLY ARTICULATES THE ARTIST’S MORALIST POLITICAL LEANINGS.

IN ADDITION, THE TEXT ON THIS WALL WOULD LIKE TO HIGHLIGHT ITS EXISTENCE IN AN EXHIBITION THAT CENTERS THEMES OF RESISTANCE AND BELONGING, AND WHICH IS MEANT TO SERVE AS A COUNTERPOINT TO THE SAFETY AND POLISH OF THE COMMERCIAL ENTERPRISE OF THE SEATTLE ART FAIR. IT WOULD LIKE TO NOTE THE UNCOMMERCIAL NATURE OF THE EXHIBITION, AS WELL AS THE LACK OF ANY PRICE TAG ON THE WORKS IN THIS INSTALLATION (BUYERS AND COLLECTORS WITH SERIOUS INQUIRIES MAY DISCREETLY CONTACT THE ARTIST AT DR.SPATULA@GMAIL.COM).

LASTLY, ALTHOUGH THERE IS AN ARGUMENT TO BE MADE THAT TIMING THE OPENING OF THE EXHIBITION WITH THE SEATTLE ART FAIR, DESPITE THE GOOD INTENTIONS OF THE ORGANIZERS, ONLY VALIDATES SAID ART FAIR AND FURTHERS THE IDEA THAT ART IS ONLY AS VALUABLE AS THE WEALTHY POPULATIONS THAT MIGHT HAPPEN TO BE IN TOWN TO CONSUME AND COLLECT IT, THE TEXT ON THIS WALL COUNTERS THAT THIS ARGUMENT IS WORKING UNDER THE ASSUMPTION THAT THERE IS AN ACT OF RESISTANCE THAT DOES NOT ACKNOWLEDGE, WORK IN REACTION TO, OR IS LIMITED BY THE BOUNDS OF, THE VERY THING THAT IT IS RESISTING. BECAUSE THIS ASSUMPTION IS FALSE, THE ARGUMENT IS DISCREDITED SO ENJOY THE SHOW THANK YOU.


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