Elizabeth Hatke is an US-American artist, photographer and sculptor based in Providence, Rhode Island. We kindly asked her to provide us with an intimate and exclusive insight into her artistic approach. The result is her first TISSUE series Concerns With the Second Dimension in which she reflects upon her body of work. The spectator sees biomorphic shapes, various transformations of materials that enter the surreal realm – and of course the body is always present. The thoughts attached to the photographs embody the subjectivity that is so often suppressed by a pseudo-objectivity that is not more than a delusion but surely the suet of art critics.
biological maps and crude drawings
images are inherently narrative (even if they don’t mean to be); they get ascribed a story so that people can make sense of them. i push and bend this characteristic of imagery in attempt to break the narrative bond to favor something nonsensical instead: to raise questions rather than answer them; to bring forth an unsettling nature rather than a comfortableness; to make a piece of something rather than a whole.
my work is geared towards these ideals already, but take on different subtleties and tones when working in the second dimension, the dimension where stories are told and the picture plane has been held in high and low esteem throughout art history (carrying much more cultural and historical significance than sculpture has, i believe).
mainly working in sculpture, my venture into imagery intends to simultaneously arouse & alienate. this unknown serves as an agent to discover new layers and underbellies to the work (that aim to initiate an urgency to continue to explore).
replica portal : based on my mother when she was my age. i grew up in a home where the body was celebrated for its raw & natural state. spending time back home & running my fingers along the edges of everything, not just physically, but emotionally and intellectually as well; realizing how much of my being can be traced back to that place. there is something beautiful about knowing where things come from.
‘what is the work about?’, as if it is a simple answer. there isn’t an answer, for is it is a million questions surrounding a circumstance. when i’m creating it’s like working around a nebulous: an air of translucent and opaque tendencies, & having to navigate it, tracing things back to the umbilical cord from which they have come(to describe). pinning down layer by layer of thought and feeling and ascribing them material, colour (hue), content, & space (what’s there and what’s not there). the work comes into fruition as i slowly decipher these attributes into physical manifestations (naming proprioception as a sunburnt knee resting on a beach towel and so forth).
it is about trying to come to terms with the terrestrial atmosphere & the pattern of firing synapses in my brain (of seemingly distant relation). psychological impulses play a huge part in things, subtle innate reactions that are of the subconscious realm: not giving the senses enough familiarity to hold on to something, but remaining forever just out of grasp from clarity. Here is where the mind is no longer tethered to reality, but dictated purely by its default functions.
:to translate imagery into work concerned with perception & validity.
Words & Photography: Elizabeth Hatke