BFA Honours Semester 1 Assessment: artist’s statement part 2+ ideas not yet realised

Artist’s statement part 2

I started this semester with the intention of making sacred spaces in secular gallery settings. This direction of research has been derailed. I became so overwhelmed by my employment under my mother that my artwork has become about her. I have been postponing my resignation because I was afraid that the emotional toil and handover process would impede on the workflow of my research. In my mind, the decision to incorporate personal suffering into my research outcomes was a pragmatic one. It is a given that my problematic employer relationship consumes me. My resent became the subject of my artistic output because I have no time to make art and be depressed as separate activities.

My growing disinterest in explicit references to the liturgical is reflected in how I submitted an essay about Sun Yuan and Peng Yu as my AHT research assessment after initially intending to write about Father and Son by Jeremy Deller. The more that I perused literature about Father and Son, the more bored I became.

In saying that, although I am no longer working on a literal chapel, something very spiritual has occurred. I have unexpectedly been empowered through art’s declarative nature. Simply put, I need to leave my employer, but I do not care about myself enough to confront them. However, I do care about art enough that I will leave my job for the sake of framing the event as an artwork. I think that this is in line with my old born-again modality: God made me brave then, art makes me brave now.

Noses that touch each other

Sketch of performance Noses that touch each other (working title)

Two people lie down next to each other on a mattress. They then stand up together with their noses touching, then improvise movements in the space while maintaining nose-to-nose contact. At the same time, there may or may not be a dog playing with a tennis ball in the space. The performance finishes when the people return to the mattress and lie down.

This sketch of a work has emerged from the convergence of my varied lines of inquiry:

  • Having my dog in an artwork would be fun. Like video games, my dog is a useful device for creating convivial scenarios.
  • Reading about I Like America and America Likes Me (1974) by Joseph Beuys as a starting point for researching the use of dogs in live performance art, then looking into I bite America and America Bites Me (1997) by Oleg Kulik upon Helen’s recommendation.
  • Writing my Art History and Theory research essay on Dogs that cannot touch each other/ Quan wu jin (2003) by Sun Yuan and Peng Yu.
  • The comedic potential of incessantly maintaining nose contact, which I already practise in real life when I impose it unto my partner at bed time for my amusement.

Untitled performance

[no visual sketches prepared]

Megan invites a participant to lie on a mattress that is fully furnished with bed linen. Megan tucks the participant into the bed linen snugly and asks them to remain in this position for the duration of the work. Megan then allows her dog inside to freely roam this space just before leaving and ensuring that the space is enclosed. The happenings of the remainder of the performance are left to chance.

Trishaw

[no visual sketches prepared]

Megan builds a trishaw and cycles passengers through Melbourne’s car-reliant and cyclist-hostile road infrastructure. Megan does not cycle and is physically unfit, adding a humiliation factor.

A real resignation letter sent by email to Sarah Tan of Business Advice Specialists Group

[no visual sketches prepared]

Visual content is as the title describes. This would not be a standalone work. It would be positioned adjacently with other work that concerns my mother and/or the convergence of small business and immigration policy.