Wall text from the show, written specifically to not be off-putting and "liberal art speaky" to the small Midwestern community I find myself in (and deeply respect and love). It's not dumbing down, it's plain language that tries to change the context (a rebranding) of how the largely rural public here might see what I put in front of them:
"I'm sure something that everyone here can agree with is the condition of all of us having "too much". One of the conceits of being alive in 2018 is that even if you're on a lower income (it's not about wealth), there is a lot of stuff to deal with, visually and emotionally. Images and information are everywhere on a scale that hasn't ever been dealt with by the human race before due to the rise of technology and sharing culture. There is STUFF everywhere, there is garbage everywhere. Think "Hoarders" but out in the world at large. The news is too much to handle most days. This seems to be just a fact of walking upright in the 21st century: there's no escaping the onslaught of extra everything, physically or metaphysically. Even if you hole up in a cabin in the woods for the rest of your life, someone would find you and make you out to be the next Unabomber. It wouldn't be up to you. We are ultra connected to the world and each other all of the time, generating an unheard of quantity of information that then requires mental processing.
Back From the Dead is a personal (dark) joke, because I had a six year hiatus between residencies that allowed me to pursue a ceramic body of work, and a lot of that time was excruciatingly emotionally hard (for other reasons). My last stint in a ceramics lab was in 2012, in Philadelphia. I switched to working on graphics and internet stuff and writing in this interim, and applied to the SAA with a body of artwork that didn't even exist; it was (is) on the internet. Two days into my residency here, I was over in the old ceramics building throwing a huge pile of pots that hasn't really slowed down yet. I think this is important to mention because it was a direct and real switch from working on art projects that are based in my wits and internet data versus art projects that are all about what I can do with my hands and my skills as a builder. This show seeks to unite those two processes a little bit more in a way that I've been dying to hit on since I was in my early 20s (I'm 31 now) and working on my MFA.
‘Hauntology’ is a combination of the words ‘haunted’ and ‘ontology’ – you probably know what haunted means, but ontology is a way of thinking about a philosophical approach to reality (what’s here, and around). A simple definition of ontology is that it is the examination of what is meant, in the real world, by the word 'thing'. So, “look at that thing over there”. Once you start to ponder what it means and what it is, you are thinking about it in an ontological way. Once you start thinking about being weighed down by too much Things, you are thinking about it in a “hauntological” way.
The true definition of hauntology is "a nostalgia for events that didn't happen" or for "lost futures", but for this show I've taken it to mean being haunted by having too much to choose from, every day. Which is basically the same thing, because those ghost futures (what could have been) didn't result as a fact of your choosing other options, but my definition is a little backwards/preemptive.
There are just too many things to think about all of the time, and as a result of not being able to deal with this, all of our thought processes have kind of flattened out and numbed us. It's hard to be affected by the news cycle anymore; you can't get attached to much these days. When you turn off the tv it follows you onto facebook anyway, right?
("Flat" is something I tied into this show in a few different ways. All of the work is about the same size. The pedestals and the tables are the same height. And the glazes, with the exception of the hand candelabra, are matte, flat color.)
I have this mental image of all of us across the country kind of peering out over this flattened imaginary landscape in our minds (which has nothing to do with Illinois, actually) thinking about what still has the power to touch us, for good or for bad."