Senior Exhibition 2014 Gallery

 

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Creation Date

2014

Description

Materials: ceramic, leather, wire, wood, steel

Dimensions: 20" x 20" x 112"

Project Advisor: Sarah Gross

Year of Graduation: 2014

Medium

Ceramics

Artist Statement

Humanity is very, very small. This is true both in terms of physical size, as well as in the duration of our existence on a universal time scale. Despite our general insignificance, we tend to take many things in our lives very, very seriously. My driving motivation as an artist is to draw attention to how big and weird the world is and to celebrate the beautiful absurdity of life.

This particular work began as an exploration of dichotomies: the positive and negative space created in this cactus-skeleton-inspired pattern, the tension between life and death found in decaying objects, and the push and pull of the past and future. With this piece, my goal is to present an artifact of future decay.

As such, this piece draws inspiration from both our past and future. Looking to the past, I borrowed from Greek tradition and the aesthetic language of monumental statues. To this day, our monuments rely heavily on the weight of Greek and Roman artistic traditions to lend them authority and power. Looking to the future, I have drawn from the visually rich and creative realm of science-fiction. Science-fiction has frequently been an inspiration to me, for the imaginative worlds and the possibilities they offer. The portrayal of aliens especially fascinates me. I find it intriguing that when an artist or author sets out to create a superior alien race, they typically indicate this superiority with “more human than human” features - standing taller, more upright, larger brains, longer fingers, and so on. Authors and artists use aliens to hold a mirror to humanity, to show what we are and are not.

By presenting a figure that is firmly associated with the distant future in this present state of degradation and decay, I hope to question our place in a grander time scale. In my mind, this desiccated statue of an alien figure comes from a time so far from now, that not only is humanity long gone, but the race that comes after has also crumbled into ancient history. The title, Ozymandias, refers to Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem of the same name, in which a towering monument to the greatest “King of Kings” is found, broken and abandoned in a desolate wasteland. I hope to inspire a similar sense of awe and smallness in the face of a strange, enormous world.

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Copyright for this work is held by the artist.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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