Sculpture / Installation
About "Domestication" and "After the War"
Our collage work is materially interested in what might be called “body horror” through the use of encaustic and paint to emulate distressed flesh, navigating the gendered interplay between clothing (fabric), body (wax), and culture (texts).
The sculptural and collage-based work in the Domestication and After the War... series are joined by medium rather than iconography — each individual piece includes weeks of intertextual research and reading literally collaged together and buried beneath wax and paint and fabrics. In some sense, the sculptures are a physical manifestation of the intellectual process that goes into our oil paintings: texts and images torn apart and buried beneath the process of art-becoming-body.
Our working method on these pieces includes building up encaustic over text to evoke a sense of brutalized flesh, with a further focus on the interaction between the flesh and the fabric that encases it (or is torn away from it). This blurring of the lines between body, text, and clothing evokes a sense of the performative body a la Judith Butler, and — in the context of diseased flesh and apparent surgical sites — suggests more complicated discussions regarding gendered trauma. However, each piece in this series has different arguments and poetic narratives about the exact nature of this trauma.
That said, certain research and reading has made its way into multiple pieces; we've been deconstructing 19th century medical texts for some time, and our copies of both Foucault and Rumi are missing a large number of pages.
Also on this page, you will find GIFT: Exegesis, an artist book discussing apotropaic dark deities and sacred tricksters — with an inability to be honest about its own materiality that is part of the concept. While labelled as part of the GIFT series, Exegesis is closely related in materiality and subject matter to the Domestication and After the War series.