Friday, October 25, 2013

(Two) Origins

I have a vague recollection of owning an old typewriter in graduate school. Perhaps I left it in Arizona or Oregon - I am not very sure. The last serious project that featured typing was Alive in Every Closet, an artist's book in my MFA thesis show.

Aunt Eleanor was a paranoid schizophrenic who unwrapped cigarette packs and wrote descriptions of people parked in front of her property on the foil. While sorting through the house where she died, I discovered similar characteristics between us - she was as orderly within her chaos as I am in my cleanliness - sometimes too fearful a prediction. In this series, I question my relationship with a woman I met only through the remnants of her possessions. She is my symbol of excessiveness and obsession - the one familial guilt shoved aside in a refusal to acknowledge her mental illness.

I miss the days of making ethyl acetate prints on kleenex and bags in the printmaking studio. I was fascinated by brown paper back then too. After completing this series, I challenged my future self to create a project focusing on my orderliness (AKA the neat freak disease). I'd like to think that Autobiography does that, not overtly but the white backgrounds are symbolic of all that is clean and organized in my world.

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