The artist has always found herself dogged by the possibility that reality is a fragmented and unfixed thing. She suffers from a post-structuralist conviction that we construct an object’s identity purely from how we categorize it – we create identity by the act of identifying, and reality itself from the event of perception and cognition.
This may seem quite an abstract concern, but for the artist herself it is a daily reality because of the nature of her differently-abled mind. Much of Anna’s work is concerned with the nature of reality, and its disparity from the perceptions, cognitions, or presentations we take as such. She is often seeking to undermine assumptions about the nature of the world, and show that the perceptions we accept as an index of reality are merely misinterpreted conceptions.
Much of the earlier, less political, work uses books or other text-ridden paper as a sculptural material. The use of reincarnated text in installation demonstrates how function (and not material or content) dictates identity, by showing how simply one object can be transformed into another without changing state. A body of information-bearing content is transformed into a structural or decorative object, to which the text can be either irrelevant (or even illegible – see True Story) or supremely relevant (Breathing Room). The use of books is further motivated by a fascination with how language and cognition encases even our inner world, always mediating, and forever preventing us from directly apprehending even our own thoughts.
These issues are also explored in non-textual works: ongoing piece Masks, for example, brings digital under-layers to the surface – foregrounding a different component of the image fundamentally changes what we perceive its nature to be, and draws our attention to the unattended composite nature of both image and reality.
More recent work (Spooky Action At Proximity; Atomize) references physics, alluding to parallels with human cognition being trapped in three-plus-one dimensions, locked out of experiencing what other dimensions may be right under our noses.
The most recent work has tended to be more overtly political (Dole Scum II; Breathing Room). This is a departure, although the political aspects of the pieces are more intimately connected to the more esoteric ontological stuff that it may first appear. The key is the outsider’s perspective, and the endeavour to reveal something about the world to which the person experiencing the art might have been previousy blind.
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