Paper - A profusion of lost struggles (2011)
Paper - A profusion of lost struggles (2011) The 1950’s Everywoman monthly magazine was employed as point of both entry and departure into what is considered historically, a pinnacle moment in conventional modelling of identity cartography put forward by Theorist Beatriz Preciado in her essay Cartografias Queer 2008. My work draws on the stereotypical images of women produced during this statistically ‘unique decade’. During the 1950’s, every long-term trend of the 20th century was seen as temporarily reversed for the first time in a century. The divorce rate fell while marriage and fertility rates soared, creating a boom in nuclear-family living. The percentage of foreign-born individuals decreased and the debates over social and cultural issues that had divided Americans for 150 years were silenced, suggesting a national consensus on family values and norms. Yet any nostalgia for the 1950s corresponds with a particular cultural amnesia. The superficial sameness of 1950s family life was achieved through censorship, coercion and discrimination. People with unconventional beliefs faced governmental investigation and arbitrary firings. African Americans and Mexican Americans were prevented from voting and Individuals who didn't follow the rigid gender and sexual rules of the day were ostracized.
Paper profusions as a body of work aimed to cut through logic of memory presented in the ‘unique decade’ through strategies of defacement and assemblage of images. Culling images that encompass power dispositifs sourced from volumes of Colonial administrative accounts by British Raj in India, to posters from Olympic Games produce in Germany at the rise of socialism, to cut outs from the princess Tina annuals of the 1960s and Contemporary New Scientist Magazine, new relational forces of egoism, imperialism and megalomania begin to break through the surface appearance of historically given. Thorough a lateral and critically reflective reading of images the possibility is set in play, in the work of revealing and undermining the ‘Natural’, rigid social unities operating in multiple disguises throughout material history.