Monday, 22 June 2009
Title List (in Order):
1. Exercise Desert Rock, D-Day blast at Yucca Flats, 1951, photograph by Cpl. McCaughey, from the National Archives Records of the Office of Chief Signal Officer
2. A Young Civil Rights Demonstrator at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, 1963, photograph by unknown photographer, from the National Archives Records of the US Information Agency
3. National Anti-Suffrage Association, 1911, Photograph by Harris & Ewing, in the Collection of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
4. Church at Wounded Knee, South Dakota, November 1940, photograph by John Vachon, from the Office of War Information Photograph Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.
5. Charlotte Hall Military Academy, 1920, photograph by Theodor Horydczak, Theodor Horydczak Collection, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Collection
“My work investigates and appropriates American history, aspects of this nation’s collective identity, and reflects on the various sensibilities of “Americanness” as defined by decorative art and vernacular art forms. In so doing I am conscious of the habitual tension between rhetoric and practice, truth and fiction, and reality and mythology. Historic objects, embedded in museum collections, speak of wealth, status. morality and values in a culture whose idealistic origins lie in the Enlightenment concepts of equality and freedom, but whose practical reality was often quite different. As such, American decorative art functions on various significant and often highly stratified sociological levels, exposing incongruity, humor, contradiction and charm. I am deeply interested in commemoration and memory, and its loss over time, particularly in the way the historic record is often forsaken or transformed through it.
This particular series highlights the wave of popular Blue and White Transferware imports that swept through the popular material culture of a newly independent and affluent America. Primarily manufactured in China and England, these wares were formulated to appeal generically to America tastes and ideals, frequently employing images of the American eagle, flag or pastoral scenes of New England. Reproduced here using iconic images mined from the public collections of the National Archives and the Library of Congress, I have modeled these plates to create a more telling and inclusive social history of the United States. Each plate is hand cast and hand printed, using the technologies of their 19th century fabrication, with the ultimate goal of assimilating Colonial sensibilities through Post Modern critical appropriation.”