Bite the hands that feed you : retrieving material discourse from industrial culture
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] My sculpture uses industrial practices, drawing from material traditions in furniture and architecture to delve into areas of conflict between nature, and human industry and commerce. Bite the hands that feed you engages some of the ironies of contemporary material culture's uneasy relationship with the natural world in a pair of intertwined apocalyptic scenarios, Horsemen and Wild dogs. Wild dogs is the trio of bronze dogs. Domestic animals mark our evolving relationship with our concepts of the natural, just as ornament involves natural forms reduced and stylized. A dog or a horse could be considered a stylized gesture toward a wild animal, in a world where even the truly wild animals require our careful management. The dogs stand in for the natural world as it is today, compromised, poisoned and possibly dying, but still showing teeth. Horsemen is the group of four busts set on top of concrete pedestals; they are less renderings of the Horsemen of the Biblical apocalypse than my own idea of the retribution humanity seems determined to provoke from nature. Where ornament can speak to us of gardens, these things are more like jungles; systems spinning out of human control, becoming something else. In this way we continually create our own horsemen, our own apocalypses.
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