The Long Version

My work investigates the nature of art as an exchange between the artist and the viewer.  This generally takes the form of small, deliberate activities or gestures.  Often there are two distinct audiences for each piece. One group participates directly in the exchange; the other participates through the documentation of this interaction.

My activities tend to occupy the space between the everyday and the gallery. It is the tension inherent in occupying this in-between space that activates each piece.  This tension is especially present in Opening Doors for Doormen.  In this piece, I held the door for doormen in Boston while they walked through it.  The gesture, holding the door, is such a small, mundane activity that it alone is difficult to classify as artwork.  It distinguishes itself as such only when all of these gestures are framed by the camera and presented as group.  The way in which the gesture is framed is equally as important as the activity itself.

My commitment and personal investment in each piece and to the people involved, like the doormen, produces a dynamic counterpoint to what sometimes risks being a one-liner.  In The Artist’s Rolls what begins as a pun on the words ‘role’ and ‘roll’ turns into a serious tool for the investigation of my role as an artist.  This piece takes the form of a triptych: two parts photography, and one part homemade rolls.  The first photograph, entitled The Artist Constructing Her Rolls, is divided into three parts showing the steps I took to make dinner rolls from scratch following my grandmother’s recipe.  The second photograph, The Artist’s Rolls in Society, shows a series of three photographs of me giving away my freshly baked rolls in Kennedy Plaza (a public space in downtown Providence).  The final part of the triptych, The Artist’s Rolls in the Gallery, is a Tupperware container on a pedestal full of dinner rolls fresh from my kitchen. This is undoubtedly a playful piece, but that does not mean that it is not serious in intent.  It relies on the pun to draw the audience into my struggle to define my purpose as an artist and sort out my relationship with my audience.  The rolls are a medium of exchange; I give away these rolls and in return the people who take them help me create the piece.  The works that result from this activity of exchange acquire significance from their origins as a collaboration between artist and audience.

 

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