Mounted – Red Lodge Clay Center

MountedOct 05, 2012 - Oct 28, 2012

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Curatorial Statement

Topical to many regions is the ritual of hunting season and the provision of food. Just beyond the border of this ritual-born-of-need are taxidermy arts. Somewhere between the provision of food and the quest for trophy mounts lies an analogy for Maslow’s hierarchy of needs emerges.

Survivalist skill sets are about harnessing natural elements, while decorative trophy mounting came after our basic needs as humans were met.

The work featured in this exhibit explores the realm beyond basic needs and delves into the hazards of modernity with mounts of various natures: frivolous, dark, poignant and combinations therein.

Where is the line between dominating, harnessing and co-existing? While the term mounted implies a conquering superiority, it also suggests fixedness as a state of control. Are the objects herein fully decided or are they fluid conduits allowing us to examine and/or deny our fears? Regardless of the answer, it is undeniable that each object is a surrogate for a real experience, allowing artist and audience to pose theoretical questions. Because they are surrogates the makers are allowed to reach beyond the borders of practicality.

Then are they more real?

Mounted presents the basic archetypal battles of man vs. man, man vs. self, and man vs. nature. The artists push their mounts forward after myopic examination. They now stand back to get a clarified view, possibly squinting their eyes, allowing dominant themes to emerge: fear, vanity, glory, abundance, despair, humility, and remembrance.