Tools of Labor and Encumbrance
Candace Rood, Boise State UniversityFollow
clay, wood, textiles, bricks, and found objects
I’m inspired by those who struggle with mental and physical disabilities. After facing difficulties in my personal life with gender identity, depression, abandonment and emotional abuse, I draw from these experiences.
Pushing my own physical limits to express and elaborate an internal struggle or emotion has been the focus of my artwork for the last two years. For example, the fight of the non-verbal to express their inner turmoil; the single parent who takes on the burden of overwork and loneliness to survive; the ones society often leaves behind because of the unsaid ugliness of human nature. Using video and performance art to express these themes, I aim to captivate the audience with visceral, hard-to-watch movements and intimate personal moments. The beauty I wish to portray is that of the endurance and inner strength of the mind to continue fighting through unspeakable odds. I am choosing to use performance to de-commodify the art objects. To further a discussion of my body and the labor with the objects as a commodity. This speaks to the history of performance aiming to counter the standard of elitism in the system of art.
Performance allows me to create art as a form of labor. By exaggerating my body movements to portray specific ideas, I explore the labor inherent in crafting handmade objects for my artwork.
For my performance, Encumbrance, I crafted over 130 bricks. Handmade by using left over clay, various other materials included: Straw from a farm in Caldwell, Idaho, alfalfa hay, my body hair, wheat grass seeds and some ingredients that were unexpectedly introduced into the mix. The simplicity of the objects allows the viewer to create their own narrative from these intimate moments within the performances actions. The video documents the everyday acts and processes involved in creating the bricks, each brick is its own individual piece of work.
My body of work is the work of my body, enacting the labor and absurdity that often belong with it. A few artists that currently inspire me are Hannah Wilke, Chris Burden, and Bruce Nauman. I draw on the conceptual themes as well as visual aesthetics of Tina Takemoto and AJ Steiner.
© Candace Rood, 2017.
Since May 16, 2017
performance, installation, time-based art, handmade bricks
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