Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Momentum Spotlight Artist: Dustin Boise

Momentum Tulsa will feature a special program called Momentum Spotlight, which awarded three artists each $1,500 and a few months of interaction with the curators Scott Perkins and Frank Wick. One of the selected artists is Dustin Boise of Edmond. Guest Blogger & Intern Ashley Romano gives us a brief preview of Dustin's project. To see the project installed, come to Momentum Tulsa on October 10 at Living Arts new gallery, 307 E. Brady in Tulsa's Brady Arts District. The exhibition will remain on display through October 24.

Q: Tell me a little bit about the work you’re producing for Momentum Tulsa?

DB: My installation, Hype-genistry, consists of 240 six-inch cast teeth, which are arranged into military formation. Each unit is three rows wide and each row is painted one of the colors from Aquafresh: red, white and aqua. The red is for healthy gums, the white for strong teeth and the aqua for fresh breath. The teeth face a podium sized tooth that has a television set inside of it that plays a propaganda-like video of proper dental care. The video is from the World War II era and resembles many of the propaganda movies used by the United States. Behind the podium three banners hang that bare the logo of the “Maxillary.” This logo consists of a tooth with a tooth brush and toothpaste crossed behind it much like the Jolly Roger/pirate flag.

Q: What inspired you to create this work?

DB: Inspiration comes from propaganda, advertising and childhood. I find it interesting how, through repetition, we are able to shape the minds of people. It can be something as little as brushing your teeth, buying crest toothpaste or mass genocide as Hitler and his men carried out. The overall arrangement was directly inspired by the gatherings at Nuremburg.

Q: How has your experience been working with the curators, Scott Perkins and Frank Wick?

DB: Working with Scott and Frank has been a great experience. As a student you have access to instructors and fellow students, but through the past two years you keep getting the same viewpoints. It has been nice to have an outside perspective from someone who wasn’t there throughout the development of the project. They came at it without knowing any of the behind the scenes, so their initial feed back was like that of someone viewing the work in a gallery setting. This has helped to clarify some of the things I wanted the viewer to possibly take away from the piece.

Q: Tell me a little bit about your process.

DB: For this installation I worked with a few new techniques. For instance, I had not sewn in almost a decade, and each of the banner/flags is fabric that has been applied using an appliqué technique then embroidered around by a sewing machine. The flag’s sides were also folded over and sewn, and two loops were created at the top and the bottom so that wooden dowels could be placed into them to help hold the flag straight and to provide something to hang them from. I also experimented with film and editing techniques with the video. As for the casting process, I used a method where 100 percent silicone caulking is squirted into soap water and applied to the object, in this case a tooth. Then a plaster mother mold is poured around the silicone once it has thoroughly dried. It is a cheap way of making silicone molds and is very efficient. For this I used 6 molds and cast the teeth from plaster since it has a connection with the dental industry in the making of dental molds. The plaster was then sealed and painted with spray paint.

Q: What are some of the challenges you have run into while creating this work, whether it be with the work specifically or site issues?

DB: Having not sewn in close to 10 years was one of the most frustrating things that had to do with creating the work. The film and editing aspects were made quite easy with all the tutorials that are available online. So, with a little research I have been able to master the lo-fi editing techniques provided by iMovie. As for the space, I had originally wanted to cast about 1,000 teeth but due to the sheer size this would take up I was restricted to a specific area of the gallery, which dictated the amount of teeth I would cast.

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