Artist Official Entries

Caitlin Vitalo

Edison NJ USA
In a society full of discrimination and prejudice, those with privilege can easily overlook systems of power that are not directly negatively affecting them. When we blindly accept these systems that allow privilege to be acquired at the expense of others we strengthen and prolong its existence. In tandem with these unequal structures, many have been lead to believe that the success of others is often a direct threat to one’s own, halting any possible collective growth our society is capable of. Divisive systems of fabricated hierarchies fortify the position of those with the most power. My work attempts to expose some of the ways these oppressive systems are reinforced through banal cultural objects such as billboards, money, chairs, and our own bodies with the hope that when you walk away from the work you won’t be able to view the cultural landscape without criticality. In order to question and redesign our societal systems, we must first be able to find them. The normalization and pervasiveness of social disparities has made it difficult to identify how they are perpetuated and, oftentimes, our willful blindness to these structures leaves us crippled, vulnerable, and powerless. Display, language, and the uncanny within the work are used as a strategy to wake viewers up to issues of complacency and apathy. An enlightened understanding of these subtle systems implicates us, regardless of our position, and calls for the sharing of this new knowledge to attempt to dismantle these systems together. The sculptures and installations I meticulously create, connect and acknowledge my privilege within these structures and pair them with facts to provide context for important truths that have fallen by the wayside. Through readings and research, I combine my personal realizations with relevant materials, allowing my individual experience to be in conversation with other perspectives. The time consuming fabrication processes and extreme attention to detail provide space for self-reflection while making; mimicking the care and attention, I believe, systemic inequality needs to be paid. The visual pleasure in my work exists in direct contrast to its inability to function the way the object is expected to, creating a tension between desire and repulsion, reality and idealism.
© Caitlin Vitalo | Ignorance Is Bliss 9418
2018 Sculpture | Ignorance Is Bliss
Wood, Plastic, Paint, 47"x80"x2", 2018
USD $800