There are two living rooms, photographic documentation of two epochs, epochs that are easily turned into commodities – sold and resold to new generations, generations away from the original source, with very little understanding of the pasts’ realities. The paintings of the first living room, painted sequentially, progress away from the photographic documentation; each painting the source material for the next, devolving through replication. The second living room series, painted two at a time, remains photo-based; each painting based on the same primary source material, the photographic image. The work becomes a balance between seeing and the physical and visual memories.
“A woman must continually watch herself. She is almost continually accompanied by her own image of herself…From earliest childhood she has been taught and persuaded to survey herself continually.”
- John Berger, Ways of Seeing
The living room, standing for the “home” and domesticity, is an affectively charged category that commingles the ever-shifting roles of gender in spatial terms. Now, at a time when feminism is commonly conjured up as a thing of the past, and the notion of the “home” is bound to commodity, how do we define and align ourselves? Where are the boundaries of our private and public spheres? And if we keep asking these questions, does the insistence yield answers or does the repetition attenuate the necessity for resolution?
“…always having the same theme, if you like, repetition, that is if you like the repeating that is the same thing, but once started expressing this thing, expressing anything there can be no repetition because the essence of this expression is insistence and if you insist you must each time use emphasis and if you use emphasis it is not possible while anybody is alive that they should use exactly the same emphasis."
- Gertrude Stein, Portraits and Repetition
The spectacle of the fireworks in the series, Celebrate, with multiple points of view and a self-evident passage of time, juxtaposes the mechanics of painting to the machinic replication of the photograph, troubling these modes of authenticity and reproducibility, asking if the artist can canonize herself through insistence or reify the work by limiting its availability, its exposure.
This is about seeing.