RECENT WORK, 2011-2015
Based on a practice of rigorous self-interrogation via meditation, activism, butoh and durational performance, these intensely subjective works, which utilize dance & performance, video & sound, drawing & painting and photography address issues of emotional intelligence, relationship, identity, memory, intimacy, and the subversion of ego. Exploring what it means to be human at the present time from a deeply personal point of view, the work aims to activate the psychological, spiritual and political potential of the self to change and to create change.
The foundation of most of my videos and live performances is durational performance. The process of creating a piece starts with an undocumented performance, usually in a public place, which informs how the piece will proceed. I may perform a piece multiple times before creating a video or performing it live with an audience. This allows me to fully understand the emotional and physical content of the piece, such that the video or live performance remains true to the original intent. Edited video with sound creates a piece which extends beyond the meaning of the original work and becomes its own thing. Performing live with an audience alters the work because there is always a response to being seen.
The still images are a response to the videos in an effort to distill and derive a new meaning or interpretation. This body of work investigates further and in a more pictorial way what it means to be seen...what it is to hide. Using light and blurring techniques to achieve this aim, the images are meant to question what we see...the assumptions that we make.
Though very much informed aesthetically by my videos, painting for me is a way to use a fluid media to explore my emotional, physical and spiritual states in real time. It also allows for randomness and discovery because of this fluidity. Working with paint demands that I relinquish control and become the means to an unknown end. The psychological portraits that emerge are a representation of what is true in that moment.
It is in my drawing practice where I am the most honest about things. Unlike the videos, where editing can create a lot of the meaning; the stills, where content is created through manipulation; and painting, where randomness and seductive brush strokes are very powerful, drawing does not lie. Putting pencil to page, I seek to tell the truth.
PAST WORK, 1992-2010
Between 2006 until 2010, I created and mostly destroyed over 500 drawings and paintings. As I destroyed the work, in an effort to make sense of all the destruction of work and time, I began to look at the digital versions of the work and in doing so, created digital works which combine photography and video stills with the drawings and paintings. My intent was to capture something of the original piece while also exploring my destructive impulse. What I found was that behind the need to destroy is fear. Fear of being seen. These images both show and hide the vulnerability that led to their original destruction.
Durational performance is the basis of my current practice. I record my performances and use them in the video pieces. However, from 1992-2005, as part of a practice of creating hidden works (is it art if no one sees it or realizes that it is "art" that they are seeing), I performed pieces that were not documented, mostly unsited, sometimes unsighted, intensely personal and often created surreptitiously in the still hours of the morning, very late at night or at other quiet times. Since the work was intentionally undocumented, I have shown the approximate location of the performance and given a short description of the intention of the work.