I am interested in how we consume information and misinformation alike, weaving it together with our own experiences to create a comfort blanket of connections that often bear little relationship to reality. I want to know why we want to look like, and look at, particular people, and what thoughts go into the way we decide to present ourselves to the outside world.
For DOLPH, rather than showing a general selection of things that influence me and inform my practice and research, I have instead sharpened my focus to look at one of my key interests – America.
I have called my show American Tan, a title that evokes a once glamorous but rather horrible, shade of tights, but could of course be read in numerous other ways. I am interested in America’s dominance in producing popular culture – notably film and music, and how the stars of these industries become products to be marketed. This slick Americana takes in and consumes many cultural influences, much like the country itself, even managing to make negatives, like violence, into marketable attributes, which are then fed back to the world to create a fictional America that consumers feel a personal connection to. The reality of America is of course very different.
In the gallery I am bringing together a selection of collected ephemera alongside existing and new works, which focus on surface, disguise, self-absorption and the final marketable product. I have also curated eight films (one for each day of American Tan) that collectively show my very personal ‘Dream America’ – the America that has captivated me.
Cathy Lomax 2014