Exegesis Abstract Text, Masters of Fine Arts from the Victorian School of Art, 2008

The normalising and alienating nature of being alive in today’s climate of advanced consumer capitalism, affects the everyday lives of people in many ways. At the crux of this paper lies an investigation into the fear and anxiety created by institutional ideals surrounding daily life. These preconceptions involve family, labour, and sexuality. This paper uses the key terms suburban dystopia and vents in relation to these ideas, and in reference to the artworks made over the duration of the MFA.

Researching the very nature of suburbia, and expanding on the idea of suburbia as more than a physical location, suburban dystopia is used as a description of people’s struggle to fit into the autocratic everyday. The term vents to describe a suspension of traditional ideologies – or a place of potential ‘lawlessness’. Within this exegesis, semi-autobiographical short stories are used to introduce a narrative-of-the-self, and are precursors to each ‘section’ of the paper.

In the anaesthetised world of endlessly recyclable imagery, this paper is ultimately structured around my art practice. This includes the use of video, sound and sculptural elements, in what aims to be a jarring installation methodology. What is commonly seen as banal or ‘everyday’ imagery is manipulated into a blurred realm of the unknown, sometimes employing a kind of black humour as a vent. Artists, theorists and film makers are addressed, including David Lynch, Lars Von Trier, Javier Tellez, Susan Norrie, Julia Kristeva and Slavoj Žižek, and Jean Baudrillard.