Objects drawn into these paintings are from encyclopedic collections while the texts refer to titles and tag lines from "Cannibal Boom" films of the 1980's, such as Cannibal Holocaust (1980), Cut and Run (1985) and Cannibal Ferox (1981). These different elements are displayed hovering like holy icons, foreign and floating on the page. Patterned blankets showcase these housewares and opportunistic, gaping-mouthed predators congregate on the banks.
My interests in objects stems from the fictions, stories and histories of objects, and how objects function as surrogates for cultural exchange. The idea of cannibalism referenced through the text is a metaphor for the assimilation and consumption of cultural identity. Seascapes refer to the historic and continuing interaction people have with waterways which provide a conduit for cultural trade, interaction, and conflict. For previous exhibitions my artwork has required a willingness on behalf of museums and institutions to engage their patrons in thinking critically about the display and representation of cultural objects.
The museum is a landscape in it's own right, accreting and assimilating objects foreign to itself. People conscious of colonial histories have long viewed museums as self-nominated stewards of cultural objects charged with telling their stories as a form of cultural dominion. Despite the objections of representatives from very living cultures often exhibited in these collections, museums strive for a degree of objectivity and collect items with a mandate to preserve cultures for posterity; whereas, representations of culture in exploitation films celebrate fiction, hyperbolae and sensationalism more overtly. Both fields inform how we imagine culture, while often drawing special attention to what is viewed as exotic by the dominant culture or relying on their own interpretations/creations of cultures to draw parallels between them.
Artist Bio / CV
Andrea Carlson lives and works in Minneapolis. In 2003 she earned a BA from the University of Minnesota and an MFA from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2005. Her work has exhibited widely while gaining support through several fellowships including the Minnesota State Arts Board (2006) and McKnight/MCAD Foundation Fellowship (2007-08).