Thesis: Georgia McCandlish

The academic engine that fuels so much artistic print production and inquiry hits a fever pitch at this time of year with students at all levels of higher education producing culminate work toward their various degrees. The future of print belongs to these young minds so why not survey what they’re making. Printeresting will be sharing a sampling of thesis work from all over the US and beyond in a series called All These Theses 2014.

The following images are from Georgia McCandlish’s thesis exhibition. She is graduating from Washington University in St. Louis with a BFA in Printmaking with a minor in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

My work is focused on the subjects of lineage, trauma and mysticism and futurity with a queer and feminist lens. I take the stories of dissenting and mythic women such as Lilith, the apocryphal first woman, and claims them into a contemporary archive through the literal redrawing of their mythologies into traditional prints, comics and zines. Additionally, my work makes use of instant archives such as webcams, blogs and cell phone pictures alongside traditionally crafted aquatint etchings in order to insert these mythologies into ordinary life. The forms draw connection through acts of assembling materials, whether they are stories, digital ephemera or literal debris.

The concept of “queering” something in academic contexts means to come at something from the side, horizontally; to attempt analysis without binaries and to tease out the layered complexities of a subject that may sometimes contradict itself. I am interested in queering as a methodology that is connected to and rooted in lived experiences of structural oppression that force one to live in contradiction and survive anyway. In the same vein, I am interested in the qualities of what I have termed “the terrible inheritance” – a history that oppresses women and people of color, requires patriarchal tools for their liberation and renders queerness invisible. What are we to do with this history? Short of renouncing what we cannot truly renounce, in what ways can we use and claim these stories to build our own mythologies? I attempt to locate and document built spaces of resistance and illuminate the fragmentary complexities of my contemporary identity: as a woman and a queer person, and an inheritor of both power and marginality.

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Categories: Exhibitions


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