2014 International Art Festival
Artist Official Entries
Emily DenlingerCape Girardeau MO USA
Intergalactic Explorer, my most recent series of images, is based on several years of research of pulp fiction novel covers of the early 1900s, Sci-Fi movies of the 60s and 70s, and corporate motivational posters. This series aims to address global culture and imperialism on an intergalactic level. I see this work as a metaphor for historical reality. I am currently drawing my characters because it gives me more flexibility when working in series than the collage characters I was previously creating. The characters are photographed in scenes that I sculpt and paint using readily available mundane hardware and craft store supplies. I have been incorporating components, such as slime making science kits and sci-fi gun design, which represent methods of play that would have been more socially acceptable had I been born male. The landscapes I create help establish the theatrical tone of the work. This series is meant to convey nostalgia for a time when our knowledge of outer space was more limited and we were just starting our voyages into the great unknown. Anything was possible, and travelers had to possess extraordinary intelligence, heroism, and bravery in order to survive the dangers ahead. The dramatic lighting and theater-like settings are reflective of visual esthetics that I have always been drawn to, whether in the science fiction I am currently referencing or film noir that I referenced in previous bodies of work.
In previous bodies of work I addressed the subconscious, the war on terrorism, and passages in popular literature. In this work I collaged my characters from the pages of fashion magazines. I used fashion magazines because they are a readily available source of contemporary pop culture imagery. The photographs in these magazines are a constructed reality; they are very different from my own reality and the financially or socially realities of many people. I subverted this imagery that reflects the lives of very few people by distorting it and creating something for a more universal audience.
My artwork explores the human condition. Issues of identity, survival, gender, power, and codependency are frequent topics in my work. My interest in an eclectic mix of artists, theorists, and writers is apparent in the art I make. These topics and people surface consciously and subconsciously while I am creating. The tableau images I create capture my interpretation of reality. As someone with an active dream life, I am interested in finding connections between my awake and asleep states. Duane Michaels once said, “My version of reality consists of my entire experience. Not just observable facts that I find in the streets, but in my emotional life, my fears, my dreams, and these things are much more real to me than any stranger’s face I might photograph.” My pursuits resonate with the idea that one’s inner state is as valuable to art making as conscious observation.
I have experimented with many different types of media and display options. I frequently show prints with a companion sound piece. I have shot my photographs using Digital SLR, Large Format Pinhole Cameras, and Standard 4x5 Cameras. I have also created and exhibited animations, web based projects, and dioramas. I maintain similar themes in my work no matter which media I gravitate towards for a particular project.