Installation Art & Performance Art

installation art
Self-Voyeur
Startup Art Fair Los Angeles
Venice, CA, 2018

self-voyeur (noun) a person who is both the observer and the object of the observer 
that has a self-indulgent obsession with his/her own self-image.
Self-Voyeur, a Post-Internet installation and performance piece, offers a behind the scenes perspective on a social media influencer.  This body of work explores the pursuit of fame and fortune via the development and production of the image of self-an individual’s obsession with her own image, responding to the societal obsession with the image of other, and the marketing and promotion of said image as a personal brand in order to monetize. 

In this installation, the performance exists in both the physical and virtual space.  The juxtaposition of these spaces represents the dichotomy of the influencer’s existence.  The performance is not scripted, it is responsive.  It is automediality, which can be described as a form of autobiography through media, in real time, shaped by the media outlets utilized (see below for more information).
The physical space is a social media engagement opportunity come to life.  The space in which the installation resides becomes the secondary character in the performance, inviting the the viewer to immerse themselves in a three dimensional image of self that reflects a more complete picture of who the influencer is. The digital art, videos, GIFs, and other artwork surrounding the social media personality reflect the issues that have arisen as a result of her focus on monetizing her image of self.  Some of the works are very private and personal, hold memory and meaning, are autobiographical and are parts of the influencer that she would never share on the Internet.  Others reflect her absorption with her self-image, confront the reality of living as an image, and reveal the issues that have arisen as a result of her focus on monetizing her image. By observing the influencer in her domain, the art show attendees, in effect, become the voyeurs of the Self-Voyeur in action.

Self-Voyeur simultaneously resides in the virtual space, which is the public face of the social media influencer’s brand.  Throughout the performance, the artist will be taking selfies and other images, posting to Instagram, Instagram Live and Instagram Stories. This allows the online following to participate as Observer to the performance as well. 

Automediality is a key component to my artistic practice and is an inspiration for this installation.
Automediality is what Emma Maguire describes as using "self-representational practices across...an abundant variety of digital modes to mediate [our] lives...[A]n automedial approach takes for granted that the self is 'brought into being by the process of mediation' rather than simply [being]...the storied form of a pre-existing subject...[A]utomedial texts are shaped by the networks of production and consumption in which they circulate"*
In other words, automediality is a form of autobiography through media, in real time, shaped by the media outlets utilized
I do not use social media for its "social" attributes.  
I use social media and automediality 
to enable me to express where I am in my artistic process, 
a mirror, a tool to help me to see how far I have come and where I need to go next
 and "to bring my self into being".
The digital modes I currently use are Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest 
and the journal on my website.  Each social media outlet I use has a different way of eliciting from me the emotional state of mind I am in at that moment.  The posts on my journal are stream of consciousness memories, emotions, thoughts and feelings recorded in real time (read the daily page sequentially in reverse, as the post at the top is the most recent) I frequently use images and quotes as modes of expression
*quoted from Self-Branding, Hotness and Girlhood in the Video Blogs of Jenna Marbles by Emma Maguire.  For  a greater understanding and an in depth perspective on automediality, 
I highly recommend this fascinating text
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Photos by Mido Lee, Mido Lee Productions

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Photos by Ron Zak
The Broken Heart Repair Shop
Venice, CA 2018
@leiminspace, Los Angeles, 2017 
Savannah, GA, 2016
This body of work is a metaphor for the process of healing a broken heart.  Why don’t broken heart repair shops exist? If they did exist, what would they look like?  What services would they offer?  Could they really help? The installation, The Broken Heart Repair Shop:  Version 1:  The Doctor’s Office, offers the possibility of the existence of a place where one can go to heal a broken heart.

In this installation I am exploring the affective dimension of art in reference to sense memory in relation to space, visuals, and experience. It is an immersive and experiential installation meant to trigger associations and memory recall for the viewer.  For some, the doctor’s office will recall positive memories of healing and health, while for others it will recall memories of pain and illness.  In addition, the concept of a broken heart will have its own personal associations for the viewer, triggering memories that will be experienced on an emotional level.

The performance component consists of an attending nurse at the doctor's office (Nurse Candy).  Nurse Candy consults with the patient about their broken heart.  After the conversation Nurse issues a prescription (work of art) to the patient.  I was interested to see whether the performance would lead to an objectification of the role of nurse by any of the viewers.  Instead, the viewers poured their hearts out, seemingly needing to be heard and comforted. There is a feeling of relief from the participants and gratitude for the gift of the prescription. 

In my work, I like to include very personal experiences that have a universal application.  Although this installation is very definitely my story, the art in the installation is anonymous. I use the heart symbol and the human skeleton in order to reflect back to the viewer their own experience.  These universal symbols allow the viewer to have a subjective experience, rather than being an observer of mine.
I have always been inspired by pulp fiction and am a huge fan of the Richard Prince nurse paintings. When I was trying to decide the nurse's name for my performance, I thought about Prince's paintings and decided to look for a pulp fiction book from which to pull the character. I found a book called "Nurse Candy" on Amazon and thought it was perfect! Usually pulp fiction books are not titled with a name, but this one was and I loved the name.  The description on the cover is about healing broken hearts.

 
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The Broken Heart Repair Shop
Savannah, GA
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Candy, your local broken heart repair shop nurse (performance component)
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Love Transfusion
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Only For Love, Only With You
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I Am Here for You
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Giving You the Only Part of Me That Really Matters

tu me manques (mais je suis si heureuse)
Lacoste, France, 2014
Photos Courtesy Dionis Carter

In Lacoste, there is a tale about the clouds of happiness.  The clouds of happiness are above Lacoste and are within reach.  On the roofs of most of the houses is an extra tile in the shape of a hand which is reaching up to grab the clouds.

After experiencing happiness with someone and enjoying their presence in my life, it is hard to find that level of happiness when they are gone. In Lacoste, I found that level of happiness again. My installation, “tu me manques”  is the empty space of missing inside of the cloud of happiness.  Even though I miss the person, I am so happy, and I have decorated the empty space in the cloud with all of my happiness.

All the objects in the installation were found in and around Lacoste.  For instance the antique wire boxspring and the chain link fencing,and the egg and moss were found in the woods during my morning hikes.  The swing and the love letters were found at the antique flea market.  I did not set out to search for or find any particular object.  Rather, I let the story unfold as I found each object for the installation.  The boxspring was the first piece I found, and I knew it would be the main focus of the piece.  I was restricted by the gallery space.  It is an original restored medieval cave, and I was not allowed to drill any further holes into the stone.  There was one crosswire, and I decided to hang the boxspring vertically from it.  The glowing white bedsheets on the boxspring were an amazing backdrop for the vintage scythe, which the gardener at the school lent to me.  It is an important component of the installation and very personal to me.  A scythe is a universal symbol of death because of its association with The Grim Reaper.  I purposely positioned the scythe on his side of the bed to make the statement that death is my friend.  His presence reminds me to live every day, each moment to the fullest.  As an emerging artist in graduate school at 50 years old, death reminds me to use every moment I have to use my creative talents to express myself in my work. 
 


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 A Tisket, A Tasket, A Trinket, and a Casket
Savannah, GA, 2013
A Tisket, A Tasket, a Trinket, and A Casket is an installation that is an environmental tableau of an attic.  The various components of the installation include both small and large antiques and furniture, vintage art, vintage clothing, vintage media and technology, rugs, and a skeleton.  The purpose of the various items is to convey the passage of time.  In addition, I will create various jewelry and object pieces, which will reflect the sentimentality of memories and of treasures to be discovered in revisiting these memories.  These pieces will be hidden in various parts of the tableau, adding an interactive element to the installation. The media component of the installation features a slide show.

As a child, the attic in my house served as a refuge and a sanctuary; an escape from the discord and trauma that I experienced as part of my everyday life.  It was a place of magic, of beautiful and hidden treasures, a place to dream of the future, a place to connect with my ancestors, a place to imagine life as I dreamed it would be. 

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The Alchemist (performance)
San Francisco, CA, 2018
Savannah, GA, 2013
The Alchemist is the metaphysical process of transforming a base metal into gold.  In this performance, it is a transformation in consciousness that occurs.  The artist is weighed down by life, dragged down, until she is forced to sit with her Self and until she is ready to make the choice to individuate.  The piece is a visual metaphor of a magnum opus. 

The purpose of the length of the piece (15 minutes live, edited for the video) was to create discomfort in the audience.  The audience feedback has been that as they are watching, they experience a feeling of depression that nothing is changing.  They want to leave and stop watching the performance.  As in life, when one is going through a deep inner change, it is slow, and one wants to give up.  The piece convey that it is worth it to keep going, the transformation does occur, and one can find the gold at the end of the rainbow.  This piece is inspired by my research into the Medieval science of Alchemy.

 
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