BFA Thesis Exhibit

Susanna Barger


Artist Statement

Hopefully, the impression on entering this space is that some book-making scavenger recluse has claimed it in order to unleash their collection. “A book” provides delicious material expectations to both flirt with and reject. There is a definition for what “a book” is, but infinite possibilities in regards to what “a book” can become. With “book” as an anchor my narrative brain was able to whirl in any direction the moment– stitch, weave, sand, smear, gouge, tape, click, stack, snap, link, tear, burn, print, glue, pose- demanded. Now I have this record; a castaway library scrounged from everything in arms’ reach during necessary but involuntary stretches of solitude. 

Making is not so much a choice as a compulsion. If I was not exhibiting work I would still be hoarding photo prints and brown paper and spare buttons and wood blocks and that chair back and far too many scraps of forgotten writing in the hope of brewing some late-night alchemy with them. Offhandedly, I call my pieces “cursed”. “Cursed” is a quality most frequently assigned to objects which to me feel uncannily alive. A curse is an aura, a connection.  In that respect, cursing is aspirational. Successfully cursed works resonate, even beyond my own obsession. That miserable quest for resonance is a trap I fall into each time I dig out a particularly self-assertive fabric scrap.  
As for my role as the artist, I imagine myself, in my eight by sixteen studio/home, as some Ben Gunn-Spider-Ghost hybrid monster, spinning and spinning a nest of curses for tomb robbers to finally crack open and unleash.