Thursday, April 26, 2007

The Worth of Causal History - porcelain, walnut, blood, iron oxide, plexiglass

This work is indicative of my testing the more conceptual waters again. The impetus for this work was an exploration of how the value of artworks are assessed, a process often contingent on seemingly shifting premises. I am also fascinated by how space is allocated to denote for us, "something important is within these boundaries." When we walk into the beaming white gallery space, it demands a near-reverential attitude, just as the frame or glass case indicates preciousness is contained within. This work toys with these notions from a base, materialistic perspective. Inside the case lie two porcelain tiles, each with frame-like features. Thumb prints are centered in each, the right made in my own blood, the left in iron oxide. Materially, the pigments are identical: my blood is colored by iron. However, the process constituting the right tile is culturally loaded with notions of artistic romanticism as the artist literally puts blood, sweat, and tears into the artwork. The left tile might be viewed as mere facsimile, and thus does not deserve the aesthetic embellishment of the other tile. Responses to this work have been varied, and sometimes characterized as pretentious, but that is exactly what is being called into question. 12x7.25x2".