This body of work consists of wearable and conceptually wearable garments designed to illuminate contemporary society’s need for ceremony and ritual as well as to question the commodification of spirituality. These garments and their display mechanisms use irony and humor to expose the deficiencies of modern ideology and social discourse with regard to our human desire for “meaning” and a purposeful life. The juxtaposition of traditional media such as cast iron and bronze with non-traditional, post-consumer “waste products” encourages a more thorough investigation of the issues these works embody: gender roles and job inequity, consumer debt, product poisoning, health care, natural resources and environmental destruction.
Each ritual garment is exhibited with a set of “Art-a-facts” that provide statistical information regarding the particular issue each piece addresses. The Art-a-facts are not explanations of the works or their intent, but serve to create a dialogue among the viewers by confronting them with disquieting information while seducing them with visually lush, densely detailed objects.
Ritual Regalia for Contemporary Living serves as a visual and conceptual “nudge” to remind us that ideology is more than a series of cultural assumptions. “It makes us subjects; we are subject to it, so that we serve culture rather than culture serving us. We see ourselves as autonomous and free, but the limits of our freedom have always, already been delineated by the ideology that provides the border of our tunnel vision (Thomas Perry).”