The Opportunist

Alydia Downs


Artist Statement: In my current body of work, titled in collective Entomoethnography, I use insects and behaviors natural to them to describe the United Statesian culture I observe around me. In doing so, I create humorous scenes viewers can relate to with a common thread of identity and actions. I choose to represent culture with insects for several reasons. Initially, they enhance the comedy of the sculptures by putting distance between the audience and the subject. Secondly, bugs are culturally repulsive to many people, creating a visual dissonance that I aim to use to draw viewers in. Finally, insects partake in many behaviors we consider unique to humans, so by showing both species’ activities simultaneously I hope to underscore humanity’s animal side and relationship to the natural world. My artwork strives to visually communicate back to my culture what I witnessed in it. Essentially, I am creating a sculptural ethnography.

Materials: Steel, Reused aluminum cans, Picnic blanket

Dimensions: 13 x 15 x 34 inches (width x height x depth)

Educational Institution: Southern Illinois University Carbondale

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