• Dasein
    Whitney Waller
    wood, branches, leaves, clay, plaster, resin, hair, fur, silicon, wire, plastic[various polymers and forms], paper, gravel, paint. block printing ink, cyanotype, fasteners, powdered pigment, flocking, jewelry, feathers, housewares, masonite, cedar saplings, conch shells, antlers, burlap, taxidermy


     
    I think I am not alone in sensing a great tension in civilized[domestic] cultures, caused by conflicts between the drives to manipulate and maintain the resources we see as wild. A common tactic to perhaps abate, or else solidify, this tension is the creation of barriers[membrane]. We have taken the need for shelter to a near end game with the development of more and more refined technologies for sealing up our structures and filtering[management] all of the in and outflow as best we can.
     
    To recognize the need for preservation of the natural world may not be entirely Sisyphean at this point. However, the churning and grinding of progress and consumption seems - at least on its surface - in direct conflict with any sincere care or goal for restoration.
     
    Horror and beauty share a complicated co-existence. Both qualities are necessary within the biological systems of which we are a part: the constant, gross churning which occurs in the grease and gears of the machine of life. An “ick” factor plays at least some role in our modern tendencies which conceptually distance humans from animals. The universe generates awe-inspiring vistas in the same foul swoop as corrosive compounds and deadly microorganisms. In this vein, my work employs surreal and hybrid forms which reflect that duality of the abject and the sublime. Here, these thoughts are illustrated by a forested room within a room of grandiose structure, a sequence dysfunctional in the creation of defined boundaries.
     
    Dasein[ˈdaːzaɪn], a term which translates to “being there”, was used by Heidegger to discuss the experience of being human. A lot of my work is fueled by phenomenology and meditations on my own human experience. The focus with this piece is the tension between inside and out, particularly with regard to civilized styles of building and decorating spaces. While we strive for separation from the actual dirt of living and dying, we romanticize nature and allow it in our homes through synthetic copies or chemically preserved forms.