Artist Statement Submitted 2020
By examining boundaries, ideas, objects and symbols intertwined throughout the myth of the American cowboy, Shawn Campbell points to frameworks used to influence and present an illusion to the masses. From smoking a cigarette to the iconic imagery of the Great Plains, the hope to strike it rich in a river bed, or digging deep in a shaft, the American Cowboy is there, or at least in myth as a white man who doesn't talk much, but when he does it’s straight forward. The type of man who works for an honest buck, wanders from place to place, and has a moral duty to right a wrong. These ideas have become interlaced into the fabric of the American Dream. The cowboy, like the US, is complex. They both allow for contradiction within every value and trait they contain. Western Theater explores these contradictions by using them to present information to the viewer in an open manner, opening a channel for personal research and thinking.
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