Shannon Schmidt (MFA 2009)
My work unites the mundane and the mythological. It inhabits the space where imagination and fiction meet the daily ritual. In the subway stations of Chicago, on a pond in the Northwoods of Minnesota or the Southwest region of France, I collect: sentences, words, objects, images and events to create fragmented installations. I collage interrupted narratives that pull together metaphor and subtext to illuminate personal and historical associations.
I believe that my work becomes part of its surroundings. It burrows, crawls, hangs and embeds itself into an already existing structure to create a new way of perceiving the space. It renegotiates and questions what the space is, how it functions, and what can occur in that space. By looking at the site and reacting to pre-existing structures, I insert fragmented tales that call back to the past, yet exist in the moment.
I insert objects and text into gallery spaces. I remove aspects of architecture. I abstract actual events into fictitious scenarios. And, I create work that interrupts the original. These forms incorporate sensory experiences that connect physical and psychological states: states that carry the weight of memory through symbolism. By inserting or appending these spaces, I embed a new history into the body of the architecture. Similar to memory: gaps, deletions and insertions, continually occur and recreate the patchwork of associative thoughts. By linking the architecture of a space with the form and content of my work, I seek to communicate metaphorical constructions between: architecture, body, house, mind, accumulation, gallery and site.