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Felandus Thames

Artist Statement Submitted 2019

I am interested in our relationship to the ready-made and how they can become surrogates for their user's ethnology and gender. Materials are mined from the communities were people from the African Diaspora reside or shop. My work attempts to transcend didacticisms that are typically associated with anachronistic understandings of representation and instead aligns itself with ideas around the taxonomy of human difference. I am also interested in the interplay between the personal narrative and the imagined. And I use humor, increasingly important to the work, as it allows the viewer to ease into disconcerting motifs. Because I desire to make objects that have a life beyond that of my initial intent, the work-often probing and unsettling-poses questions rather than answers them. It shifts the beholder's role from voyeur to participant, and complicates my personal relationship to the work.

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