Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A visit with Kim Stanford

Can you talk about your relationship to the materials you use?

I work both conceptually and intuitively, so the material I work with needs to have a symbolic potential to reference mundane, taken-for-granted practices as well as have a capacity for playful sculpting. For example, steel wool has been a great material for me: as it invokes tedious domestic labour and can be manipulated through a variety of techniques. 

What is “a day in the life” of your studio routine?

Iʼm quite disciplined in my studio practice. It is my job. I start with an hour or so of ʻbusiness,ʼ then four hours or so of art making. I usually have more than one project on the go, so if Iʼm creatively gestating with one, I can work on another. 

Does collaboration play a role in your practice and if so what has it taught you?

Iʼm generally a pretty introverted artist. However, I am beginning to explore collaboration with academics who do qualitative research into taken-for-granted experiences of work/life.

Can you tell us how these ʻmundane momentsʼ you talk about influence or inspire your art practice?

This refers to the conceptual part of my practice which grew out of the critical theory I studied in my graduate degree. I draw upon poststructural ideas of power and discourse, the constitution of multiple subjectivities, and possibilities for activism. It ends up a tangled nexus, with more questions than answers, but that is great for art, to complicate beyond a didactic message.
Simply, I propose the repeated, tiny, taken-for-granted moments in our lives are pivotal in how we understand ourselves and our relationships. Iʼm interested particularly in the strategies people employ to make meaning within the doldrums. Although Iʼve recently found inspiration in my own frustrations with the domestic roles of wife and mother (such as the ʻloadedʼ task of picking up other peopleʼs dirty socks over and over), there is a multiverse of such instances out there to be explored. 


Whatʼs pulling you creatively next?

Iʼm still enjoying working with used socks,   and thanks to the press and therefore abundance of donations I received, I can work with socks for years to come! I will continue to expand the two pieces recently exhibited: Yes Iʼm trying to pick you up (2013) and Weʼre all just doing the best we can in this crazy mess called life (2013). However, I have two more sock pieces that Iʼm itching to get started on.
I also have a series of mutating steel wool carpets on the go.

Thanks for the visit Kim!