artist's statement 

I am fascinated by America’s historical amnesia, its role in shaping Western ideologies, and the way these frameworks reflect and influence our cultural memory as a nation. Primarily grounded in a steadfast and genuine love of drawing, my practice also explores processes such as paper-weaving, papermaking, paper-cutting and collage. 



My practice relies upon paper as a material, a tool and a conceptual treasure trove. I mine old photographs, newspapers and other discarded print material for content - ephemeral things whose stories continue to resonate as time passes, but also risk losing nuance as context fades from cultural memory and experience. the cuts, tears, weavings, fragmentation, collaging and other manipulations commonly utilized in my work is a way to revel in paper itself as a physical object in an increasing digital world, but also a tool for re-contextualization and re-interpretation of traditional narratives. I find that these manipulations of historical imagery  - and then the delicate, labor-intensive process of hand-drawing them in graphite - have a way of calling into question our understanding of history in hindsight, the immeasurable influence of visual documentation and our personal translations of imagery and memory as Americans.


The subtle, and often deceptive, drawings I strive to produce both deconstruct and reconstruct the original images without providing a clear directive or easy “answer” for the viewer. Folks will often ask for the story behind a piece - expecting a tale of artistic heroics and noble vision for how the work should be seen and received. But I draw these humble objects not because I see some deeper meaning in them, one that only I can unlock. My work, instead, asks the viewer to look carefully and critically at the tattered flag, the torn edge of a newspaper clipping - and listen to the story that emerges within their own experience of looking. 

 

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©2020 by Allegra J Bick-Maurischat