Margaret Hart

  • Margaret Hart

    Untitled, (from the Situated Becomings Series), mixed media collage, 30 x 30 inches, 2017.

    Untitled
  • Margaret Hart

    Untitled, (from the Situated Becomings Series), mixed media collage, 30 x 24 inches, 2017.

    Untitled
  • Margaret Hart

    Untitled, (from the Situated Becomings Series), mixed media collage, 30 x 24 inches, 2017.

    Untitled
  • Margaret Hart

    Untitled, (from the Situated Becomings Series), mixed media collage, 30 x 24 inches, 2017.

    Untitled
  • Margaret Hart

    Untitled, (from the Situated Becomings Series), mixed media collage, 30 x 24 inches, 2017.

    Untitled
  • Margaret Hart

    Untitled, (from the Situated Becomings Series), mixed media collage, 30 x 24 inches, 2017.

    Untitled

Artist Statement

Imagine a cyborg collage: a becoming of gender possibilities, an image depicting fragments of technology, organic parts and hints of human gender forms through the spaces imaged or the objects included. What is collage and what could it be, beyond a simple form of cut-and- paste image making, when focused on the issue of gender in this posthuman era?

For the past year I have been creating physical cut-and- paste paper collage works based on a character I have created in my science fiction short story work. These collages loosely reflect the intersections of gender, transformation and technology, and are informed broadly by feminist and posthuman theory. The central character Mear exists in the written works, but she is never fully constituted in the visual works for several reasons. For example, one reason is that this character lives in a world where one can literally transition between multiple genders and gender combinations; thus her appearance is unfixed and unclear at any given time. The visual works typically begin as sketches of how I envision the environment in which Mear exists and since Mear is in a continual state of evolution in many ways, I resist defining her fully at this stage. As more layers are added to an image the works become more fully realized and glimpses of Mear's narrative emerge.

The relationship between the written work and the visual work is fundamental to how I define my creative practice. My experimental writing is done in short non-sequential vignettes, creating a literary collage. I then spend time reflecting on the experimental text and how I may visualize this world and characters I am creating in the writing. This reflection leads to a mental image that I capture through the collage practice. In cut and paste visual works, and in my experimental fiction writing, collage is my main method of forming new expressions of gender through combining fragmentary images or texts; through collage my content and/or characters becoming more and other than what they originally were.

The artworks are constructed from my own photography and video, elements appropriated from science and fashion magazines (both physical and online), and bits of ephemera. They often incorporate text and phrases from my science fiction writing as well. In my Situated Becomings series the background images are often empty spaces, which connote a stereotypical socially constructed notion of gender. Within these spaces combinations of human and nonhuman fragments, both biotechnical and cultural signifiers, are juxtaposed to create new meanings.

I suggest that the political nature of collage is embedded in its earliest iterations within Western art history and that this inherent nature can be harnessed to deepen contemporary discussions of gender and technology, leading to a creative practice of collage as becoming, understood most simply as a constant state of change. By examining the political nature of the medium itself and how specific artists create visual work with gender issues at its core, I propose a process of transformation and multiplicity leading to a methodology of becoming.

Contact

margarethart.co



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