As we grew up with images, so did our tolerance for them, raising the threshold of expectations. The absurdity of images, and the desire of companies to hold our attention, is like a bratty child, making a mess wherever it goes, and leaving a trail of embarrassment. As an artist, I can’t help but use this perspective to study these images as they get applied to seemingly every surface. As a commercial photographer, I have gained access to the construction of these images, an inside knowledge that frightens me. Photography can be a dark medium, constantly reconstructing its conversation to better cheat reality, and to perpetuate an ideology so toxic, and so entrenched in our identity, it is almost humorous.
Images have a correlation to domesticity based in what they sell and who they are selling it to. The pressure of car industry lobbyists in the post-WWII, post-industrial, post-Fordian society created a system of structures (better known as suburbia) that helped to perpetuate the white, heterosexual, patriarchal society that we still struggle to reconcile with today. At the heart of this machine is the image, and those who control its creation. In commerce, especially in the capitalist structures that surround the suburbs, the space between the inside and outside has been displaced by images: representations of expectations projected upon us, window by window, their eyes looking at us.
In this show, Built to Fail, I attempt to weaponize the materials that help to maintain the capitalist notion of the American dream, and to displace its failure and our sadness in the hope of making sense of the absurdity that is our reality. Nearly all of the material used in this show is available for commercial and consumer consumption. By using these materials, I proposition both the absurdity that exists in the production of commercial images and the guilt that I feel for the role that I play in this vicious system.