Tammy Burke is a multi-disciplinary artist working on her MFA through the Hite Institute for Art at the University of Louisville. Her history shows a good deal of installation and performance work, and here she shows us a concentration on the tactile as well as visual textures of fabric in recent sculptural pieces. In her statement she explicates her unique take on materialism:
“We use materials to psychologically or physically transform us every day, to conduct daily living, by believing in them to catapult us to higher moments, and by designing an identity. I create constructions that comment on and respond to humans’ sometimes irrational, but deeply seated relationships to things, how people use things and materials to generate and reinforce meaning, to project beliefs and identities, and how fragile but potent that dependency is.”
“Possessions project meaning and construct identities. The body is a charged vehicle, unequally distributed, and the bearer of our intentions, delivering coded messages through possessions: adornments, positions, companions, vehicles, and domiciles. Regarding this, Russell Belk summarized Sartre: ‘the only reason we want to have something is to enlarge our sense of self, and the only way we can know who we are is by observing what we have.’* Possessions act to amplify, mask, or create the self. They describe and extend the self and have the power to transform a believer. Identity is a territory, which can be acquired or at least pantomimed through possessions and performance.”
“Materials embody beliefs and facilitate sacred acts. Rituals, among life’s daily routines, are intentional simulations in which the outcomes may not be certain, but desired and envisioned. The ritual process may be the totality of the experience, but through ritual simulation we manufacture transcendence. For the faithful participant, objects and materials used to carry out, or that are produced through rituals become cathected.”
“Cathexis involves the charging of an object, or idea with emotional energy by the individual. They retain residues of the encounter in the mind of the participant. The simulation hallows the materials as well as the faithful.”
“I provide sensory experiences through seductive constructions. They may be exotic spaces, imagery, and materials, or commonplace things thinly veiled with pageantry. These objects provide an opportunity to experience cathexis. In turn, the viewer-participant’s engagement cathects these objects and materials, a transformative process for the construction, just as the encounter may be for the visitor. The materials are the message, and momentarily, they deliver something greater than their parts. Momentarily, they look divine. For a moment they enable a transformation.”
Burke has kept a busy exhibition schedule while working on her MFA, most recently mounting an installation concurrent with the run of Eurydice, at the U of L Thrust Theater in January, and participating in the Artlink Regional Exhibition, Artlink Contemporary Gallery, Fort Wayne, IN, January through March of this year.
Hometown: Jeffersonville, Indiana
Education: MFA Candidate, Hite Art Institute; MA Media Communications, Webster University; BFA Painting, Herron School of Art, IUPUI
Belk, Russell W. “Possessions and the Extended Self”. Journal of Consumer Research, 15 No. 2 (1988), pp. 139-168. New York: Oxford University Press. http://www.jstor.org/stable/2489522.
Scroll down for more images
Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.