Action 1: Cradle of Decadence
Evoke the ghost of Goya’s ‘The Disasters of War: Nada. Ello dira’
Insert several half–pages
Use variations of the same geometric forms in black, grey and white until it ﬁnds rest in a cradle of decadence.
My work explores a personal fascination with fictional horror through primarily digital methods of making. Within the broader realm of horror, I have a particular interest in monsters, voyeurism, and depictions of female brutality, sadism, and masochism. For me, horror interrogates and reveals our darkest cultural norms, and its women offer powerful tales of suffering, empowerment and retribution. Using the language of horror and drawing upon her rich cache of subversive women, my work interrogates my own lived experience, presenting womanhood as complex and contradictory.
There is a kind of self-obsession that comes with my type of making, a measure of decadence inherent in looking deep within to extract the kinds of experiences and feelings that act as the catalysts for my work. There is also a discomfort; when we hold a mirror to ourselves, we must confront the ugliest parts if we wish to bring our entirety from a space of reflection to one of action. Each time, I compete with mirrors that are far from perfect, more akin to those in sideshows, and I must take care to cut the ouroboros that would otherwise allow this reflection to alter my conception of self without end or limit.
In this work, I pivot from Goya’s Disasters of War: Nada into my own shadowy place, filled with dark figures that could be benevolent or malevolent, reaching, grappling, inviting me to look at myself. The figures reach and cajole – will their touch be gentle or grasping, will I be held or overwhelmed?
I am at the centre of all of it, and I am all of it. The central figure in Nada was alone, for all the shadows surrounding him and the cruel indifference of justice; here too, so am I, a blessing, a curse, its own kind of decadence.