Valentine, Aimee J.
MetadataShow full item record
Going Dutch is a narrative exploration of the boundaries of object/subject relationships through image, material, and form. Beds, body parts, containers, food, and domestic appliances appear in the work as symbols of production, possession, and consumption. Objecthood and subjecthood are not fixed states, but flexible and conditional. We engage with perceptions of object/subject daily, according to our own socio-political biases. I investigate these biases by portraying typical objects as subjects, while typical subjects become objects. I am interested in the ways we interact with our surroundings, and how we consciously and unconsciously objectify others—and ourselves, when we identify as recipients of action rather than actors on the world stage. Role reversals in my work serve to highlight otherness/othering, representation, and objectification. Going Dutch pays homage to the Dutch Golden Age and its contributions to art and scientific discovery while challenging its legacy of colonialism, material acquisition, and traditional gender roles. The phrase “going Dutch” implies the equal splitting of a bill between two parties, yet such equity remains elusive within contemporary culture at large, and within domestic arrangements in particular. The works in this series question whether gender parity can ever exist, given the pervasive perception of women as objects of desire or means of reproduction. Motifs in the paintings function as signs that challenge an inherited culture of domination, domestication, and accumulation. Despite the critique, stylistic nods to renowned Dutch artists add to a playful and surreal space in which skewed perspectives, collage, and saturated color amplify the tension between public and private spheres, modes of production and consumption, and the fine line between function and fetish.