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BOXES beyond borders

My Favourite Things

Virginia Ross
Australia 1999

My most recent work has been installation-based amalgamations of photographic images and text, the result of which is a cross-over into an almost cinematic form and aesthetic. My practice has shifted from an analytical approach to the concepts outlined above to a more personal exploration of them. My use of image and text alters the codes which are usually brought to bear in ‘readings’ of these mediums. Each form is pushed aside in favor of the other, forcing them to jostle each other for primacy. The text is always my own writing, which consists of nightmarish vignettes (real and imagined), frequently including references to some popular cultural homily, in order to insert some humor/irony, and to suggest that there are certain pleasures to be obtained from the so-called negative aspects of culture/existence.

I decided to base my box on work I am currently exhibiting in a group show titled Fear Incorporated. I have closed and enclosed my box to suggest the mystery of that which is hidden (psychological/cultural, whatever). I then re- inscribed the surface of the box (or the cube it has become) in two layers. The first layer – photographic flowers, dissimulating nature – seduces, as only images of natural beauty can, yet forms a surface which shuts off investigation. The next layer – the text touches on the mysteries of the subconscious. The box spins around on its chain to laugh at the simplification of these complexities inherent in such ideas produced within popular culture (albeit a somewhat nostalgic, dated form of it) as “I simply remember my favorite things.” At the same time it suggests the potential for a kind of pleasure to be found in that which is relegated to the negative.