Slim Shady Series
The “Will the Real Slim Shady Please Stand Up?1” series details the attempt to obtain and maintain a genuine, unadulterated identity in contemporary, consumer-driven society.
Identities may be worn as accessories, enabling us to function in a world of dysfunction. However, they can also leave us feeling trapped, locked into a life and a narrative that does not quite feel like our own. This sense of being trapped or ‘bound’ – either physically or mentally (i.e. ‘bound by duty’) – is a recurring theme within the work and is manifested through elements of bondage: masks, hoods, and ‘clothing’ that physically restrains and perverts the true nature of the body.
The persistent motifs I utilize are sculptural equivalents of psychological conflict: targets, piercing/penetration, bondage, and distorted anatomy, marking that which does not conform to a hegemonic, societal ideal. The sculptures are exposed trying to satisfy a conflicted desire to fit into a world that they ultimately cannot fit into. Striving to identify with that which strips them of authentic identity, they are attracted to their repulsive situations.
Similarly, I want my work to attract and repulse the viewer. I employ humour to lure people into an intimate relationship with the work – the goal being to persuade the viewer to invest a sufficient amount of time with the pieces to discover an uncomfortable narrative. I want the viewer to be disturbed and to question what it is that is making them ill at ease.
My intention is to incite people to look outside the box that they have been packaged in and to challenge passive acceptance of a consumer society that continually seeks to compromise a true self.
1Eminem, The Real Slim Shady, Marshall Mathers LP, Aftermath/Interscope, 2000.