Olivia Mole

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Artist Statement
The Delphi Museum houses an ancient statue, ‘The Charioteer’. Nearby, a lifesize drawing shows sculptures supposed to have accompanied it: six horses, two naked attendants and the chariot, all extrapolated from a couple of bronze fetlocks. At Lascaux, we will never really know why the cave paintings were made and yet Bataille held their discovery to mark the first time we encountered our humanity. These remnants, bits of bone, dirt, smudges of pigment, are fragmented clues to what we once were. We ventriloquize these partial objects, giving them a voice to answer our own. Maybe we hope to encounter ourselves, scavenging our histories from scraps.

I use these processes to imagine contemporary time as its own prehistory. Using video, installation, performance and lecture, I make semi-fictions around screwball characters, and install them alongside objects of their own creation. Cartoonish scenes show an emergence and fracturing of subjectivities, a comic Cave-Theater of Cruelty, channeling historical and cultural iconography: St Augustine parasitizes a gut; a sparkling dungheap spews sexy ladies; a watercooler thinks; a cavewoman reads theory and gets Tinder; mallrat witches perform jubilant incantations of material-feminist alchemy. Their melodramas lampoon the structures we have come to revere.

Joyce tied writing and money to expelled shit. For Irigrary, “mucus serves love, respiration and song”. I see contemporary artifacts – technologies, commodities, visual languages – as the material products of psychosocial, economic desires; as gilt excretions from a dribbly, failure-bound anatomy. I extrapolate these fragments into a mythos which is lunatic, tender, frivolous and sincere.