SARA HEART BACON
s t a t e m e n t

 


Social concern, responsibility, and the notion that provocative issues can be approached with beauty and sensitivity are the foundations of my work. I am interested in looking closely at the way in which loaded issues such as gender, class, mass production and consumption, and consumerism are interrelated, approached, and discussed. A non-defensive tactic towards conversation is often the most productive, inviting, and enlightening. Art offers an alternate access point and therefore, a potentially less volatile environment in which to examine such topics. It is here that there is room for humor, metaphor, beauty, and play in the realm of highly controversial socio-political issues.

In his book, entitled Ways of Seeing, John Berger suggests that “…when an image is presented as a work of art, the way people look at it is affected by a whole series of learnt assumptions about art. Assumptions concerning: beauty, truth, genius, civilization, form, status, taste, etc.” These assumptions presented by Berger may or may not be at the forefront of the viewer's conscious mind, but nonetheless exist in their psyche. I am interested in that which occurs in people’s minds when they are not necessarily aware that a force is acting upon them and defenses are left untriggered.

The fluctuation between the conscious and subconscious is strongly connected to why photography is my primary medium of choice. The excessive amounts of photographic imagery we encounter on a day-to-day basis create a passive effect on the medium. As a result, much of what we absorb exists in an unconscious sphere. Photography is more detached from itself than any other medium–to instinctively desensitize of the flooding of photographic imagery in our society in tandem to its realistic nature, we do not always immediately recognize what we are seeing or that we are even seeing at all. Alternatively, with the medium of painting, for example, one understands and recognizes that they are looking at “a painting” almost immediately. It is the phenomenon of physically seeing something, without its presence in the conscious mind. This detachment from itself is an entrance into the unconscious. It is my hope that my work flows between the conscious and subconscious, becoming a reoccurring thought that increases awareness and elicits conversation, with wit and beauty.

5.28.05

 
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© sara heart bacon 2009