This work takes as its starting point the human desire for permanence, a desire made acute by the inevitability of our passing. If photography itself is a manifestation of this desire, our attempt to arrest or “still life,” plastic plants and flowers are a low-rent corollary. Suspended mid bloom and scattered throughout graveyards and empty parlors, they offer the promise of perennial youth, an eternal flowering, life ever after. Fake flowers both immortalize and render static the natural world. As such, they articulate a crisis between beauty and horror, desire and loss, artificiality and “the natural.” Perhaps we are realizing Robert Smithson’s “frozen actuality,” the hallucinatory disjunction where “nothing is known but the impenetrable surfaces,” where “the artificial ingenuity of time allows no return to nature.”
“Bioposys” are reconstituted artificial flowers and plants, mutant strains, improbable and permanent hybrids. The larger pieces attempt to envision a constellation of flower bombs, offering glimpses into possible futures of plastic and mishap. In others, the crude undersides begin to show through, revealing the cheap materials and human labor that ultimately destroy any illusions of “real.” And they offer more questions than answers: what happens when the “artificial” becomes a stand it for the “real?” What constitutes beauty in an age of environmental crisis? Is simulation the new preservation? What is our relationship to “nature” as it mutates, rebels or ceases to exist? And what if we find the mutations themselves desirable?
Read Vancouver Straight review here.