Date of Graduation

5-2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts in Art (MFA)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Art

Advisor

Sean P. Morrissey

Committee Member

Linda Lopez

Second Committee Member

Injeong Yoon

Third Committee Member

Zora Murff

Fourth Committee Member

Mathew McConnell

Keywords

allegorical formalism, contemporary art, contemporary ceramics, formalism, fragility, queer theory

Abstract

The work in good dyke art visually expands upon conversations about institutional critique and its contradictions, specifically questioning who dictates the boundaries between institutions and bodies: how divisions are made between them and who enacts or receives force. One’s participation in this critique, however, indicates a participation in the problematics of the institution and by extension, a desire to critique may also be considered a desire to participate in that system.

Ceramic, glaze, and found objects manifest an allegorical formalism that utilizes coded languages of institutional spaces, traditions of queer-coding, and charged word-play. The ceramic vessel forms reference the Ancient Greek pottery form of the hydria, a three-handled water jug. I reinterpret and remake the hydria constructed with holes or bottomless forms, breaking the viewers expectations for how a vessel should function. The three-handled form is a literal interpretation of a non-binary way of approaching an object. In ‘good dyke art’ the hydria serves multiple functions: as a stand-in for the body, a reference to classical antiquity, and a marker of institutional influence. The hydria, glazed orange and turned on its head, takes the form of a traffic cone. Safety orange, hardware store blue, and fluorescent green are institutional symbols of caution and, in my work, function as gesture and a designation of space—both literally and formally. Materials found in hardware stores, academia, and corporate buildings are strapped or attached to the ceramic pots, emphasizing their precarity. Stressed objects enact force onto others—and give way to force in their breakage.

The precariousness of the installations urges the viewer to be aware of their own body and of the space they take up—implicating them as well as the artist in the work.

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