How can I avoid politics when everything about my history, my family, my mental health and my body is politicized?
In a corner, I bite the bullet.
As a soldier is given a metal shell in place of morphine, I’ve worked to keep that pain silent, but you’ll certainly see an imprint.
Over the years, with a strict drawing technique, I began using animation, storyboarding and representative figure drawings as a way to develop unseen narratives. In high school, surrounded by the typical body dysmorphia and prescribed prednisone, I turned to the uncanny valley to better understand and start depicting the surreal reality. As a place for horror and grotesque design exploration the concept reflects the emphasis on feelings rather than facts that drive today’s political discourse.
I grew a subconscious interest in how monsters are made and what makes the hero in contrast thereby compelling. What makes a monster and what makes a human directly engages a dialogue between reality and sanity.
These themes all coalesce in my installation Newsroom for a Demon, which incorporates a draft of a satirical journalism television set with the curation of political paintings and sculptural practices, including Lobotomy Helmets 1-3. I use traces of the body and let the material tell me what to do. In the performances for Lobotomy Helmets 2 and 3, spectators would drill screws into the helmet in the dark while I wore it. Social experimentation led me into exploring audience participation, with both literal and social contracts in performance art. There’s this cognitive dissonance. It comes from the roots of our terribly flawed system but anger takes the power out of the words, and what power do I have?
Newsroom for a Demon: “Evolve” (words in progress) password: MCAM2020
I feel accomplished when I instigate intense emotional responses in the audience, ranging from loss in I Never Met my Black Granma to the confusion and outrage behind Cooney Tunes and Orange, . . . Agent Orange. I have sought weaponizing moral revulsion, hoping it makes the audience able to confront issues in a way that they may have not before through recognizing their own internalized prejudices.
Everyone has that house in their life . . . be it your grandmother’s or someone else’s where you know every nook and cranny. There’s no way you don’t know every entrance and exit point. Every light. Every vent. Every cobweb. Every shadow. Every imperfection is there like you remember. Caused by you or forces that can be easily explained. This is your normal. This is your safe place . . . for now.