ABOUT

teratoma

The boundary between figuration and abstraction has always been a formal consideration of my work, but conceptually I am engaged in the idea of radical bodies.  I am interested in what happens when one is confronted with a body that does not apply to our commonly held definitions. What I consider a body is not limited to physical corporeality, although that is part of it; my conception of bodies also includes verbal bodies, and bodies of ideology. These bodies have weight, form, and accepted anatomies. I am also interested in the potential within indeterminate bodies, whether in what they contain or the new meaning they create through recombination.

 

In medical science, there is a term, “teratoma,” that describes a type of tumor that contains collections of tissue from disparate organs and areas of the human body. Teratoma translates to, “monster tumor,” a term that calls to mind Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, and a term that exemplifies our scientific and cultural approach to abnormality. This idea of monstrosity can also describe our fragmentary, contemporary existence—an existence that has been encouraged by such advancements of science and technology as those that first allowed us to isolate, dissect, name, and fear the teratoma. Yet with each fragment placed upon another or each abnormal outlier that is discovered, nuances of existence are created, and new possibilities of being appear.

Much of my work bears resemblance to teratomas. My goal is to create situations where previously delineated forms are exposed as inherently malleable, where their identities are in flux, and where our expectations of them are subverted: a body is solid until it isn’t.