Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)
VHS magnetic tape and clear adhesive tape
55 x 38 in.
My mother has been suffering with Multiple Sclerosis for 20 years. I create work that examine the process of coping with my mother’s illness from a young age to adulthood. My work explores the need for protection for my mother and myself by making blankets, quilts, and pillows from VHS tapes. I only remember my mother not being sick when she ran a video store in the early 1990s, creating a unique relationship to this material. VHS tapes are inherently a durable object. However, over time the magnetic tape loses information and deteriorates from the inside as the body does. My work transforms the vulnerable, magnetic tape into an object of comfort and purpose.
Staying true to the material, I solely use clear, adhesive tape in the construction of my blankets and quilts. Clear, adhesive tape is used to fix jammed VHS tapes that’s magnetic tape has become un-readable. To fix this informational delay, the un-readable, magnetic tape is cut out of the film. Then the clear, adhesive tape acts as a band-aid to make the information playable again. Multiple Sclerosis causes a similar disruption of information as the broken VHS in the human body. Motor skills become lost or slowed down form touch to reaction of the body, leaving for a frustrating daily life. My artwork is to reconstruct the film’s timeline to, and to remedy the informational delay to a comforting covering.