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BOXES beyond borders


Adrienne Outlaw
USA - Tennessee 2003

Like most domestic tools, the straight pin is usually considered a useful and innocuous object. I use thousands of them to make aggressive statements referencing handwork, domesticity and the female voice. The finished pieces are beautiful. They are also sharp and dangerous. Like the tiny pins that efficiently perform multiple household tasks, my work suggests more than what meets the eye. “Conflict” physically expresses endured emotional battles.

With my background in fiber art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, I am intrigued by the works of George Segal, Edward and Nancy Kienholz, Cathy de Moncheaux, Annette Message, Louise Nevelson, Eva Heese and Ann Hamilton. Finally, the following excerpt, as read not in context, but taken from Anais Nin’s A Spy in the House of Love, 1968, pp. 6-7, sheds light on my ideological treatment of perception.

“She was like an actress who must compose a face, an attitude to meet the day…She must redesign the face, smooth the anxious brows, separate the crushed eyelashes, wash off the traces of secret, interior tears, accentuate the mouth as upon a canvas, so it will hold its luxuriant smile. Inner chaos, like those secret volcanoes which suddenly lift the neat furrows of a peacefully plowed field, awaited behind all disorders of face, hair and costume, for a fissure through which to explode.”

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