In Strength Thru Embarrassment, Laura Kikauka presents new work that combines the aesthetics of both intention and accident. In an act of double-appropriation, she alters a large collection of "art" purchases (largely from thrift stores) by collaging, drawing and painting excerpts from song lyrics into the found "art". The appropriation of found paintings and song lyrics makes the original artist and lyricist unwitting collaborators with Kikauka, thus creating a three-way collaborative process. The resulting visual works pose a game for the viewer, who may often recognize the song lyrics but might be puzzled to name the song from which the lyrics were borrowed. Kikauka appropriates lyrics from all genres of popular & unpopular song: classic rock, pop, new wave, punk, indie, country, metal, jazz and easy listening and from such musical suspects as Abba & Aerosmith to Zappa & ZZ Top and the many musicians in between.
Laura Kikauka was born in Hamilton, Canada, in 1963 and currently lives and works at the Funny Farm in Meanford, Ontario, and at the Funny Farm East in Berlin, Germany.
Laura Kikauka is a self proclaimed techno-nymph and professional-hobbyist who often finds the extraordinary in the ordinary. She creates detailed collect-o-holic environments from junk and discarded products, cross-fertilizing unorthodox techniques with personal experiences to create work which reveals the humorous absurdities and ironies of our everyday lives. She divides her time being Miss-Management while marketing her products and Miss-Understood whilst explaining them.
Kikauka´s work has been presented in institutions worldwide such as el Museo de Arte de Lima, the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, Österreichisches Museum für angewandte Kunst in Vienna or the MKG 127 in Toronto.