Alicia Renadette
My art-making practice is an outgrowth and reflection of my outlook on American consumer-class rituals. Prodding at both mortality and morality, I exploit materials with multi-tiered associations. Often using black humor, duality and word-play, I create theatrical anomalies in which conventional objects unsuspectingly become signifiers of complex personal and social issues .
I am currently using materials such as holiday or "special occasion" flourishes, housekeeping implements, molded styrofoam and plastic appliance packaging, dollar store cosmetics, Polynesian cocktail adornments and foisted family heirlooms . These articles have been used to build installations featuring large-scale structures reminiscent of temples, parade floats or lavish cakes. Other times, they are used to infiltrate a public space in ways that create surprisingly surreal alternate narratives incorporating already present fixtures and history of place.
When encountering these sculptures or environments, the viewer may be immediately delighted by the celebratory decorations, or find themselves suddenly seduced by a vibrant pallet of heretofore uncelebrated provisions. The mood appears to be festive, if not inviting. Upon closer inspection, darker themes are revealed. This initial reaction is quickly tainted. Familiar materials which at first glance were charming and whimsical, now appear sinister and noxious. The surfaces appear bruised, punctured and diseased rather than merely embellished. It is unclear whether this exuberant sickness is fungal or cancerous, but it appears to be spreading.
The connections (utilitarian functions, manufacturing processes, symbolic forms…) among the multitude of materials spark complex reactions for the viewer. An individual’s emotional memory may be unexpectedly stirred by the presence of certain objects which bore witness to significant moments in their lives. These seemingly simple items host countless personal metaphorical possibilities. One person’s souvenir may be another person’s trigger.