“I am presenting three new bodies of work that investigate narrative, in multiple iterations, for example; historical, fictional, mythical, personal and national. Through the work, I consider narrative as a layered medium, using it as a tool and as a subject, when thinking about what societies and individuals believe. What they love and hate. I look at it as a polymorphous belief generator in a state of flux; moving through space and time to nest in the imaginations of people or a society. This inheritance is always being recreated and changed, intentionally and unintentionally.
What we believe and how we act are experienced as personal choices. I picture narrative as a behind-the-scenes prompter of these choices while recognising the reach and power of personal agency. I am looking for beginnings and ends. A geography of beliefs. “I Made You To Find Me”, the show’s eponymous work, is a quote of the last line of an Anne Sexton poem. Taken out of context, handwritten and scaled, it becomes a public experience.’I’, ‘You’ and ‘Me’ become ambiguous which opens up concerns around personal boundaries.
I use narrative elements like style, structure, characterisation and plot as peep holes onto miscellaneous pantheons. Pantheons of characters, for example, feature anything from gods and mythical beings to celebrities and charismatic heroes and anti heroes. I use the concreteness of these embodiments as handles to encounter the values they circulate. With them I can feel out ghostlike foundational constructs, and question why we need them and how they order the world.
The text works interact with the perimeters of these nebulous forces through appropriation; quoting characterisations in my own blown-up handwriting. The apparent superficiality of anecdote anchors the work. This process allows me to navigate existential subjects relating to our political, social, religious and cultural worlds without getting lost in their immensity.
I used common themes around narratives of femininity to make the collaged prints on sheer material. With them I question the steadfastness of identity and reflect on the perceived risk of the unknown and otherness. The works graphic clarity and hallucinatory visions open up the paradoxical idea that we are the creators, projectors and worshippers of our own ideals. Who am I? Who are we? The works echos what is at stake when we construct identity as ‘narrative souls’.
The sculptures reflect this idea of self-definition as a layered, polymorphous, inherited, and manufactured social and personal saga. They are larger-than-life cut-out plaster golems and scattered, almost kitsch, body parts. I see them as ambiguous sirens, the crudeness of their layers of plaster lures the viewer and the space in together, I see them as unwieldy lightnings rod to a slew of converging public and private narratives.”
– Ariane Schick