Mixed Media/ Installation > More Mixed Media/ Installation

Mixed Media/ Photography/Sculpture

Shown at Columbia College Chicago Manifest Urban Art Festival

Features: bleached bones, Photography, found objects, hair, teeth, dirt, taxidermy sculpture, handmade wooden structure.

Horror Art
The Role of Women in Horror
Mixed Media BFA Thesis

Abjection/Horror/Grotesque: The Monstrous Feminine: The Role of Women in Horror

This particular work addresses an issue that I have been researching and writing about for the last six years: The Monstrous Feminine and the Abject. I am taking a look at the role of women in horror cinema/culture. The work includes abject materials such as hair, bones, teeth, dead insects,taxidermy, bodily fluids and skin. Etc. The photographs in the work address the issues of the gaze, pleasure/pain elements, woman as grotesque/castrating, terror/violence and the ideology of horror.
The goal of the work is to open up the channels for a re-interpretation of the role of women in horror. This can be extended to re-analysis of the role of women in other genres, especially Fairytale. The work does inadvertently express ideas about the dialogue between sex and violence in regards to women portrayed in Fairytale.

Much of my previous work involved self-portraiture that commented on the position of women in the patriarchal society under the oppressive weight of the male "gaze". Exploring the virgin and the whore, the archetypes that reside inside of every woman, I created performances that were documented through photography, geared toward an audience that was meant to feel repulsed and excited at once. It was about push and pull, seduction and refusal, beauty and vulgarity. It was about the cathartic experience of pain.

My more current work has involved some obsessive collections of abject objects such as dead insects, animal hair, bones, bird feathers, snail shells, fish carcasses, antlers, dried hooves, etc. I combine these elements to create landscapes of horror. The objects exist as elements of an altered reality calling up images of horror cinema and fairytale. In some cases the objects have been used to create cabinets of curiosity in which the viewer is invited to smell, touch and view the material. One piece consisted of the bones of a young female deer suspended in a tank of cherry Jell-O. Other pieces have been housed inside shadow boxes, protected by glass.

My most current work has combined self-portraiture with collected objects in order to take a look at the role of Women in horror cinema/culture. I am focusing on woman as the monstrous feminine. Women have had a difficult relationship with horror cinema; due to the basic narrative structure that usually involves the mutilation and killing of shrieking women who are not only defenseless punching bags, but also objects designed to be penetrated. In fact, those of us who happen to be women, that are obsessed with horror, find ourselves accused of being apologists for a woman-hating genre, or we are given masculine attributes. Instead of making up excuses for the past let us make horror seen through the lens of feminism, let us cater to the female spectator. By disturbing the border between living/dead, clean/defiled this ideal truly speaks to abjection and creates room to develop a new idea of horror. In this piece, I ask the viewer to be a real part of the horror landscape.

My goal as an artist is to challenge the formulas of male power/phallus/violence staged against female lack/void/victimization.

I want my work to harness the power of the feminine.