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Exploring the Hoard: Constructing New Maps of Understanding
Monique Motut-Firth (author)
Emily Carr University of Art and Design Graduate Studies (Degree granting institution)
Consumption (Economics) in art
HoardExcessPhoto-montageCultural imageryPop artCultural identity
How do images and diagrams inform cultural identity and the navigation of social space? This is a core question motivating my art practice. To produce my artwork, I glean images and texts from magazine collections, which I deconstruct and reconfigure into new iconographies. My goal in this process is to simultaneously destabilize knowledge systems that pretend to obscure uncertainty, even while hinting at possible new understandings. Building on the history of collage as a critical strategy, I explore the role of technical images in identity formation, knowledge production, and expressions of power and authority. In this way, my work maps contextual frameworks that span disparate image cultures and identity systems. The ‘hoard’, as a type of collection, is an important space for my practice; I see the hoard as an archive and active site of social and political possibilities — a physical manifestation of the excess of capitalist culture (1). I mine these archives for veins of source materials, looking for patterns that emerge through formal aesthetic similarities. Colour and line speak from within images to reveal possible hybrid visualizations and derive new trajectories of meaning. In this work, I am exorcising my suspicion of a tendency to slip into a passive viewing position; in this way, my work is calling to (and being beckoned by) Vilém Flusser’s cautionary writings on the inherent perils of technical images in mass media. My works traverse image and objecthood. I transform print materials into photographs, then into pixels, and finally to printed-paper structures. In this way I usher meanings from objecthood to image and back again, questioning visual language along the way. With each work, I engage in a struggle to decipher and map historical traces of print images. At the same time, I am actively trying to confuse, question, and re-code visual tropes, questioning the impact of images on identity construction and broader ontologies. I bury my tracks knee-deep in scrap. --- 1) In this text, I will refer to the hoard as a metaphor for the overwhelming volume of cultural imagery at large as well as, a specific collection of print imagery that I see as physical symptom of the pressure of image culture.
This thesis is available to view and copy for research and educational purposes only, provided that it is not altered in any way and is properly acknowledged, including citing the author(s), title and full bibliographic details.http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/