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Stilled Chimeras

Archival digital pigment print, insect specimens, velvet, frame. 

20 x 24 11/16 x 2 1/8 inches


Our bodies are vibrant landscapes teeming with microscopic bacteria, archaea, viruses, and fungi. Inextricably linked in a web of interconnectivity, we rely on this unseen world to survive: to help us digest our food, strengthen our immunity, and even augment our genome. Like mythical chimeras composed of disparate animal parts, we are an assemblage of human and non-human cells. At our most fundamental level, our individuality is an illusion. To be alive is to be imbued with the world. 

We are ecological beings, so where do we begin and end?

As we exist in a collective body within a broader ecology, what are the boundaries between Self and Other? Where do we shift and slip and oscillate from individual to multiple? What might we find in these liminal spaces where these binary constructs dissolve and our edges blur into each other?

Stilled Chimeras are glimpses into fantastical ecologies of human wonder and desire, where things are not always what they seem. In this world, botanical arrangements are hybrid creatures composed of plants, fungi, animals, insects, and dicklettes. Cast from roots and fruit, dicklettes are fleshy silicone sculptures that recall both animal and vegetal bodies.
To humans, they seem phallic, clitoral, and teat-like, but I like to imagine that a carrot would look at them and see peculiar, pinkish carrots. Like a rhizome or mushroom fruiting body, dicklettes appear sporadically, growing in and out of the bouquets, comfortably nestled amongst the floral genitalia.

Consisting of myriad beings, this work expands on the forest still life paintings of the Dutch Golden Age. Rather than displayed in a vase, these bosstilleven floral arrangements appear to be growing on the forest floor amidst mushrooms, moss, and small woodland creatures.
Yet the flowers depicted cannot naturally grow in this environment and often bloom in different seasons. These meticulously crafted scenes are constructs built on our impressions of the natural world; the order and disorder we imagine there; the beauty that mesmerizes us; the abundance we perceive as ours for the picking.

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