In seascapes with moltenous shores I draw objects and texts that reference seemingly disparate sources from museum collections to exploitation films. Museums are the self-nominated stewards charged with telling the stories of cultural objects. They strive for a degree of objectivity, whereas representations of culture within exploitation films seem to celebrate hyperbolae and sensationalism in a more overt way. Representation by both institutions and film establishes a narrative in the display and interpretation of culture. They inform, to different degrees, how we imagine culture, and they often draw special attention to what is seen as exotic by the master narrative.

My interests in objects relate to the story of an object, and how objects are utilized as surrogates for cultural exchange. The objects and texts represented in my work are displayed hovering like holy icons, floating and centered on the page. As these objects dangle over the seashore like a carrot, the shore rises up, itself fluid, all-consuming and assimilating as the earth takes back and buries it's histories. Waterways are historically a conduit of trade, interaction, and conflict and are cited in the work for their role in aiding the fluidity and continual change of culture.

In previous exhibitions my artwork has required a willingness on behalf of museums and institutions to engage their patrons in thinkng critically about the display and representation of cultural objects. By citing pieces from the museum's collection in my artwork, I appropriate those objects by drawing them into imagined landscapes. The museum is a landscape in it's own right, fostering and assimilating objects foreign to itself. The idea of cannibalism, or cultural cannibalism, is referenced in my work as a metaphor for the assimilation and consumption of cultural identity. Newer works relate to the idea of cannibalism as a fantasy of the artist-appropriator in film. It can be debated whether or not the representation of culture in films and museums better serve to inform public knowledge or invent stereotypes, but they both present a creative form of representation which may often be overlooked by the viewer.

Andrea Carlson