“Nothing” there, nothing “there”

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Alexa (Lex) Turnbull (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site: http://library.wcu.edu/
John Seefeldt

Abstract: Everyday we communicate, navigate, deconstruct and reconstruct boundaries in our internal and external lives as a means to control our experiences. We do this in an attempt to keep ourselves “safe” from “others”, but this is a false sense of protection. Systemic boundaries follow this pattern and morph to maintain the oppression of those in our communities who are marginalized. Awareness of this false sense of protection we have grown to rely on has made me fully invested in the body as a tangible boundary to explore imagined and actual environments. My work uses familiar boundary-making materials to create absurd spaces that function as metaphors for the arbitrary ways we construct environments in an attempt to exclude “danger”. I use art as the tool for exploring and exploiting these false notions of safety, with all of their comedy and tragedy. I have made a commitment to navigate these spaces intentionally. I explore these objects + forms as someone who has always believed inanimate objects to possess their own unique essence. On one hand, this allows the objects + forms to take on their own experiences, as I imagine them to be animated, invoking the absurd. As we utilize these objects as tools for boundary making, it further reveals their absurdity and the ephemeral nature of our environments. The spaces we make to welcome this danger to exist, in an imagined way, allows us to reflect on the pitfalls of society in a somewhat digestible way. The making of haunted houses and horror movies utilizes a “trick the eye” approach to creating that is just as absurd and imagined as ours. In my life thus far, I have tried to make myself smaller, to take up the least amount of space. This coping mechanism of mine is not unique, but it has driven the creative work I do. The work becomes a key to manifesting an interior, imagined world while manipulating an exterior, shared world. One way I tap into this mode of making is through dance and performance. Both play a major role in my work as I understand dance to be the language of our body and soul. The nature of dance as an ephemeral and authentic movement that will never be recreated the same way twice is interrupted by my use of video performance, that can be replayed on a loop. This action exploits the ephemeral nature of our beings. The ephemerality of life and movement scares us, and we try constantly to hold onto and replay our memories. The performance aspect of my work mirrors our need for control and preservation.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2021
anti-object, emergent strategy, form, performance, sculpture, space
Form (Aesthetics)

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