Katie Wynne
To be an escapist, you must first perceive a prison. I see a reality suffocated by firm definitions. In the process of categorizing, we simplify, and in doing so deny the complexity of experience. How much space really exists between celebration and loss, between comfort and vacancy? I don’t want to separate out these terms, I want to see them collapse back together, creating a space where dualities are inseparable. In a reality of too much orderliness, I am keeping room for the untamed.

My work relies on the reciprocal relationship between human and object. Through the residual energy of their making, objects gain their presence. They sit unassumingly, offering you their structure and their skin. The marks of experience, of external forces, have shifted and scarred them. Through these objects we can read the rise and fall of the human drama, both grand and foolish.

Stringing up the colors, we are demanding to celebrate and in our festival we see our reflection. We are throwing a party but what cause we have to celebrate is unclear. The colors and textures of an American landscape weave throughout my objects and installations. Equal parts pleasant and captivating, they encapsulate our unattainable ideals. How is it that the charming object leaves us too enamored to protest, lazing about in the comfort of vacancy?

At every department store the shelves are stocked with this comfort. On a pack of three brightly colored sponges reads the slogan: “Freedom from dirt.” An epic promise to save me from disorder, wiping away decay and every evidence of the relentless progression of time. When you wake up tomorrow your vase of fake flowers will be the same as they were today. All is well, all is pleasant. The flowers are not dying and neither am I.

I am rallying for the incredible mess of our lives, knowing that though they will be immediately defeated, we must constantly cultivate these moments of delight. My celebration may be equally as escapist as the endless trips to the marketplace, the endless purchasing of sponges and freedom from dirt. We are all trying to escape. Escape death, escape banality, escape definition.