Land of the American condition
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] While there has always been separation between the "ideal" family and the dynamics of real family relationships, since the 1960's American culture has failed to recognize the importance of stability in family. Today, 'dislocation' best describes the condition of the American family. Our "throwaway culture" values individual success and allows the pursuit of happiness to become an obsessive behavior. The constant striving, inherent in the dream of individual success, makes it virtually impossible to obtain and maintain contentment within the "family structure". The "American condition" results from the culture of individualism, which encourages the abandonment of family. The paintings of "Land of the American Condition" attempt to evoke the psychological feelings of dislocation, abandonment, loss, nostalgia, and uncertainty, in the aftermath of an accident. They highlight the failure to maintain stability bringing the viewer to awareness of the long-term effects society may experience "if" family structures are lost. The paintings of "Land of the American Condition" portray dislocation that may exist in the silent moments in the aftermath of tragedy. Tragedy is presented as vehicular accidents. The traces of an accident provide evidence from which an observer must find meaning. An abandoned station wagon situated in a Romantic landscape evidences the failure of protective structures. The remains of the family wagon are displaced alluding to dislocation in the mind of the viewer. A number of methods evoke the psychological state of dislocation. First, by rendering the station wagon immobile. Secondly, by placing the station wagon in unexpected environments. Thirdly, by showing the age and amount of damage on the body of the station wagon and finally by deploying the use of expressive color applied to both figure and environment.
Access is limited to the campuses of the University of Missouri.