The title, ENLARGED TO SHOW TEXTURE, is taken from the fine print printed on many consumer food packages in which the image on the box is enlarged and therefore deceiving, as its appearance tends to be more appealing than the reality found inside. As a child I recall sitting down for breakfast numerous times, staring at the idealized image printed on the cereal box, in relation to the soggy bowl of reality in front of me. At an early age I was fascinated with the disconnect between desire and fulfillment in advertising. The divide between a presented image and reality never seemed to align.
Growing up in Midwestern suburbia, I have become both obsessed and repulsed by the superficial realism of our consumer driven and self seeking culture that encompasses my daily routine. This work simultaneously celebrates and critiques the fabricated happiness pervasive in our society, while drawing relationships between the everyday mundane, consumerism, sexuality and religion.
As an employee at a trendy frozen yogurt store, I encounter the ongoing ritualistic tasks of middle class America. During my shifts the carefree music of Jack Johnson directs the mood on loop. Customers are greeted with happy hellos, and fluorescent painted walls of positivity. Children and parents alike, smile in tune to the comfort and immediacy of sweet treats. Among the 40 plus froyo toppings, rainbow sprinkles remain the most popular. Tempting because of their color, sweetness and childhood nostalgia, sprinkles provide instant gratification. However they are artificial, lacking both substance and nutrition.
Through print, video, sound and installation I explore the tension between the outer surface of an idealistic image and the inner reality of one’s identity. By engaging the viewer’s senses, I investigate the physical surface and psychological depth of sprinkles and household products in relation to the mind and body. This work is intended to be both seductive and grotesque as it reveals and conceals the enlarged texture or depth of idealism. Although various textures are displayed, the viewer is denied the sensation of touch, left only with a desire for the real. By elevating and enlarging the generic, I question what the image points to beyond the surface of humor and absurdity- and into the texture of the sublime.
By reverting back to a childlike innocence of carefree happiness, I immerse myself in our sentimental culture while bathing in rainbow sprinkles. Simultaneously, I desire to cleanse myself from such artificiality. I continue to search for my identity as I inevitably drown myself in my own image of femininity, guilt, and self-worship within the present. While searching for contentment and fulfillment, I am left empty and stained as I reflect upon the unsubstantial value of an idealistic image. Too much sugar makes one sick.
As I become consumed by consumption, my identity is continually conflicted between the superficial façade of our culture and the desire to grasp a deeper meaning. By removing these products off the shelves and placing them into a quiet minimal space, I aim to investigate beneath the surface of the everyday by questioning what it means to be real, to be human.
“The push for earthly bliss is at the core of the American soul.”-Eric G. Wilson
ENLARGED TO SHOW TEXTURE The bathtub is not only a container for the sprinkles, but also a container for my body bathing in these sprinkles, which was filmed, and then projected on the north wall. This large- scale video runs for the duration of 14 minutes on continuous loop to symbolize the repetition of the every day, the continual cycle of desire and fulfillment within consumerism, religion and sexuality.
While getting lost in the mesmerizing motion of flesh and sprinkles, the viewer begins to imagine what it feels like to bathe in sprinkles. Due to the control I had framing each scene, I am able to present a deceptive image far from reality. Although it might appear appealing, bathing in sprinkles was far from fulfilling. Each frame is intentionally enlarged to only reveal fragments of my body, and thus appear digitally manipulated or collaged. For example in one segment, I transition from my leg to a magnified finger, leaving the viewer to question the reality of scale.
The repetitive motion of digging my hands through the sprinkles, mimic the waves of an ocean. This sound is relaxing, meditative, and mesmerizing. Although the motion of sprinkles, reflect the sound of nature, in reality, the sound is artificially made, referencing only an image of water. In addition to the resonating echoes of water, abrupt sounds of chewing, spitting, lip smacking, gargling and slapping bring the viewer back to reality, in an attempt to disrupt the idealized image. This duality of mesmerizing and grotesque create a balance of unsettling tension for the viewer.
CLEAN HANDS The viewer must look inside the opening of the vent in order to view a small video projection. The video is a short two and half minute looping depiction of my hands massaging shags of flesh colored carpet. As I slowly pour water and sprinkles, my hands and carpet are stained purple. The act of looking inward and downward, is a metaphor for looking beneath the surface of an image, an attempt at self reflection in which the stains point to a dirtier reality, hidden within the outer image of cleanliness and idealized perfection.
ENLARGED TO SHOW TEXTURE
Two-person exhibition and collaboration with Jessica Machacek at Lamar Dodd School of Art in Athens, GA.
"UGA MFA candidate Jessica Machacek and MFA candidate at the University of Kansas Ella Weber are two artists who examine, through sculpture and photography, the physical and psychological presence of everyday objects. Their works blend concepts of the found and the fabricated, the real and the synthetic as the artists explore a late-capitalist mode of production that relies on and creates overconsumption, superficial realities, and constructed happiness."
home n food
Cheese Stack | Digital inkjet | 18"x27" | 2014
Empty Box | Digital inkjet | 30"x22" | 2014
Reproduction | Digital inkjet | 20"x30" | 2014
Tipsy Couch | Digital inkjet | 18"x26" | 2014
Erected Monument | Digital inkjet | 24"x32" | 2014
Mantlescape | Digital inkjet | 24.5"x14" | 2014
Toast | Digital inkjet | 11.5"x15.25" | 2014
Summer Vacation| Digital inkjet | 27"x20" | 2014
Drained | Digital inkjet | 2014
Lemon Head | Digital inkjet | 18"x24" | 2014
Planted | Digital inkjet | 18"x27" | 2014
Lonely Bball Man | Digital inkjet | 18"x27"" | 2014
Green Space | Digital inkjet | 20"x30" | 2014
This book acts as a store catalogue, bathtub reading material, and a religious book of liturgy. It is 76 pages of scanned images showcasing mundane carpet textures with various food particle stains. In between the images are six poems that I wrote, allowing the viewer to further read into the conceptual intentions of the exhibition.