Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New artist's statement

I have a new statement that I wrote for my piece at Fe Gallery. Because it isn't explicitly printmaking or drawing like most of my other work, I felt the need for a statement that referenced a wider range of media. I struggle a lot with a writing style that is overly academic, and I would consider this piece, like most artist's statements, continually in progress.

Artist statement

As far as we know, human beings are alone in the animal kingdom in our ability to contemplate our existence in the natural world. The paradox of this awareness is that although we are animals, and of nature, we can never know the natural world at first hand. We are simultaneously within and without the natural world; although we belong to it, in the very act of defining and attempting to understand it, we alienate ourselves from it. Systems of learning and labeling develop from our search for understanding and definition. They become lenses through which we view the natural world.

Museums, libraries, academia - these are all culturally constructed lenses through which we attempt to better understand "nature." In my art, I look at the way these systems and lenses affect that understanding; how they influence people's opinions, how they alienate us from or compare us to the natural world, how they inspire awe and wonder, and how they cause us to alter nature in the very act of observing it. Studying the systems tells us as much about humanity as it does the natural world. Nature, on the other side of the lens, becomes a mirror.

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