PORTFOLIO > aluminum lake

Researching the different cognitive brain functions has led me to the making of ice picks. This tool was used in Fruitcake Factories (mental institutions) from the 1930s to perform cerebral operations (ice pick lobotomies) on LGBT outcasts . At the time, this barbaric practice was a celebrated method believed to convert patients to heterosexuality. Inspired by the artworks of Robert Holland Murray (Parallax Series 1992-1995), installations of Virgil Marti (Grow Room 2002, For Oscar Wilde 1995) and philosopher Julia Kristeva’s The Powers of Horror (1982), I imagined building life-size picks placed in an architectural context that would serve to trigger the viewers’ psyche and fear. Kristeva argues that: “From the start, fear and object are linked.” Enthralled or repulsed, the brain tends to look at tools and activate them, rather than simply look at them as objects. These picks are tools, and they represent the iatrogenic effects of HIV medication, a theme that is explored in my most recent installations. Investigating the dynamics of medication such as side effects and the drug related inner organ deterioration has led to look into medication’s components and production. For example, Aluminum Lake (2015) alludes to industrial and pharmaceutical uses of neutral pigments, ‘Aluminum lake’ being a colour found in most foods, cosmetics, and oral drug coating.