Blood in your Mouth
When planning my thesis exhibition, I was thinking about scale and how to utilize physical space, requiring viewer engagement, in order to negotiate a difficult situation. The situation being human’s relationship to fossil fuels. I read Brett Bloom’s Petro-Subjectivity and felt compelled to make artwork negotiating this relationship between human action and petroleum fuels. According to Bloom, “Petro-subjectivity is something that each of us experiences constantly. It is a sense of self and the world that shapes who we are and how we think. It stems in part from the fact that the use of oil is present in everything we do. It has shaped the concepts that govern our thinking. Our use of language and the basic concepts that structure our existence are breathed through the logic of oil relationships and form the metaphoric universe we bathe ourselves in when we speak to one another about who we are, what we do and what the world around us consists of.” I used liquid latex made from natural rubber, another product of historic imperial extraction, to cast a 12,000 gallon oil tank decommissioned by my father’s former wholesale oil business. In doing so, I have acknowledged my direct implication and complicity in the oil trade which has wrecked our planet and the ensuing collateral damage of all peoples in its path. With the placement of a desk and chairs ravaged by constant hurricanes and floods experienced in southeast Louisiana, I am visualizing the impending flood due to past actions of Big Oil, but also our daily activities which underestimate how much oil impacts our daily lives.