Viewing my installations of fictional microcosms and mixed media drawings, transports the viewer into an illusory world of biomorphic forms inspired by recent innovations in applied science, the human body, and its surroundings. The viewer is met with vibrant color, sumptuous beauty, and a hint of chaos that depicts a future ecosystem of otherworldly elements. The work reflects the deceptively lush and placid surface of contemporary consumer culture, while showing that just below the surface lies an abyss of turmoil and decay. These microcosmic drawings and sculptures create a scene of hectic beauty, invoking a sense of science fiction of corybantic mutations between natural and manmade components.
I envision my work as a conceptualized environment, like the Kunstkammer or cabinets of curiosities, in the sense that it will resemble a microcosm or memory theater of the world. The Kunstkammer fascinates me because it symbolically conveyed the patron's ability to construct and control the world through an indoor, smaller replica, which became a kind of miniature version of the world. In the same way, my sculptures are created as controlled environments, but my drawings are created with a view to capturing the natural world in which these inhabitants might reside.
I chose the Kunstkammer as the platform to stage my work because it served as the first museum of unknown objects or collections of objects that at the time were yet to be defined. Furthermore, the Kunstkammer was a personal luxury museum for those who could afford to create and maintain such a collection. In same way I see my microcosms as collections of future organisms or specimens created throw the mutations of genetic engineering, but instead of displaying my work in the traditional cabinet or room where they would be organized and labeled, I choose to create my microsomes as sculptures that you might see in a luxury window display for a couture fashion label, a luxury brand that only a few can afford to shop. Like many of today’s new innovations, only a select few can afford them. In a market-based economy, innovation and discovery come at a cost. Often in an effort to recoup investment and to maximize gains for shareholders, new breakthroughs in technology remain out of reach for all but the most affluent until the expiration of patents or economies of scale reduce prices. For example, a company called ViaGen Pets offers those who can afford the $50,000 fee the ability to clone a dog or cat. In the same way, I see my microcosms and drawings as representations of objects and discoveries that remain largely inaccessible to the masses
The two-dimensional work shares the same conceptual themes as my sculptural pieces, yet they are more directly inspired by my source materials, for example, genetic engineering (the deliberate modification of the characteristics of an organism by manipulating its genetic material). The viewer may recognize images that reference: shoes, eyeballs, the human skeleton, and jewelry; all things that are literally a part of the human form or adorn the body. The work also includes other symbols like wheels, and architecture that is meant to represent technology. I also commonly utilize cellular forms since they represent the basic building blocks for all living things. The current advances in genetic engineering of the human genome intrigue me, but I ruminate about some of the negative consequences that accompany these positive developments. Will the physical and intellectual advantages for humankind affect the evolution of our ecosystem? Will they affect our social and political ideas? If microevolution is evolution on a small scale within a single population (with population being defined as a group of organisms that interbreed with each other and share a gene pool; i.e. humankind), I am concerned that the ultimate genetic results could yield mutated life forms.
Kristen Franyutti Studio