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"The subordination and dissimulation of material does not imply ignorance or disregard of material. On the contrary, it is the "mastery" of material. Materiality is hidden by being mastered. Only through a detailed understanding of the construction can it be effaced - reduced to an invisible prop. The most sophisticated technical control is required in order that the technical world can give way to the weave of ornament."^1

My work and its surface of “keeping up appearances” within the mastery of materials, acts as a container, a skin, under which swells an abyss of exuberantly colliding histories and origins, or lack thereof. I sometimes compare this to Umberto Eco's discourse of the hyperreal regarding my homeland of California. The sensuous surfaces of sleek or brightly colored material and popular culture is understood and shared here in the States, while simultaneously coating a diversity of diverging, and sometimes violent histories.

I reflect on the ontology of things - the nature of being and becoming - through the migration of forms, the construction of behavior in relation to appearances, and how culture represents itself to reveal "the nature of the ambiguous presence."^2  This regards the domination of the West to maintain itself and how it shapes labor, class, health, and identity.

As a product of miscegenation in a land, the Americas, founded on the exploitation of humans and the sweat of our collective brows, the internalized histories and epigenetics do not appear on my surface, but through my attitude. A “double consciousness” emerges, which goes beyond the surface of skin, and applies to the condition of being (human): how to find strength in the face of pain or grief. My attitude coupled with appearance therefore allows for an exuberant subversion through resisting the status quo through desire in the act of creation. This force of creation, a Third space (in the words of Homi K. Bhabha) comes into existence in the work, where new dialogues and actions are allowed to occur.

T
o paraphrase artist Hedwig Houben, in the end, the work is a representation of all the processes which emerge during the artistic process: the questions, doubts, and ideas.


1. Semper, Gottfried. Die vier Elemente der Baukunst. 1851
2. Verwoert, Jan. Living with Ghosts. 2007