Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Artist Statement

 Ever wonder what my artist's manifesto was? Well wonder no longer!

 Artist Statement

            My art ethic is driven by an impulse towards disruption. I wish to strip visual and behavioral codes from their contexts, exposing them for the absurd and oppressive rituals they are. I seek the balance of education and anti-education, diplomacy and instinct. My prime focus is the fragile axis of muted, cultured brain-matter. I want to destroy basic and unnoticed assumptions, from the mundane to the abstract, to provide new space for unwritten and unrehearsed practices. I believe in hypocritical art—the art of multidimensionality, of the dogma of anti-dogma and the reverse, of concepts not yet verbalized, of life. I believe in an anti-alphabet, of Craig Owens’s allegory, which discusses the dichotomies of humanity and biotic matter, of instinct and inescapable egoism. I believe in an art which strips the signified from the sign and liberates the signifier. I believe in choice art—the closest I can fathom to free art—and free art—art I cannot fathom. I believe in art as objects, not art objects, and not subjects. I believe in shallow art, free from semiotic. Disrupt the acoustic image! Open yourself to an illogical synesthesia! Disarm and disword! No rules!
            Experience the art of psychological realism! Experience experience twice removed! Experience it anew. Non-stagnant art must, in the words of Susan Sontag, subject the viewer to its experience, rather than the other way around. I believe in counter-Pop Art, reversing the damage done by post-modern consumerist aesthetics. I believe in the arguably surreal. Let’s re-consider figurative formalism: a phantasmagoria of the concrete and the abstract both in content and in structure, a state of abjection, an unintelligible moment and activity, recognizable to resist dogmatic interpretation, physically implausible and yet honest in its depiction, spontaneous and cryptic, universal and personal. Specificity yields alienation—I am for an art which alienates everyone equally. I believe in an art for which language was not made to describe. I believe in an art which, fully aware of its objectiveness, takes place in the neurons of the viewer. I wish to destroy visual literacy, to strip you of your logical and local defenses.
             Art as experience: involving, empathetic, honest, wordless, in which the wish for a conclusion may never be consummated. I believe in abusing camp for cultural and/or anti-cultural art. I believe in an experience more tangential than Pop-Art, less pretentious than Abstract Expressionism, less literal than Surrealism, as cryptic as Dada. I believe in self-referential anti-purist art, art with its own environment, objective multi-media installations of an un-objective truth. I believe in art as manipulative as literature, as obvious as dance, as formal as cinema. I believe in art of primal consequence—art that makes one blush, vomit, yawn, scream, laugh, stare, react wordlessly. I believe in the art of metalanguage and physicality. I believe in grotesque art, sex art, honest art, paranoid art, sensitive art, sterile art, smelly art, messy art, pristine art, uneducated art, spontaneous and abstracted art, microcosmic art, macrocosmic art, subatomic art. I believe in nonsense art and narrative art, temporal art pieces and theatrical art, almost invisible art. I believe in a vulnerable and invasive art. I believe in an art to catholicize subjective “reality”. I believe in art that does not claim to be any more real than any other experience.
             If art is experience, its setting must be one of two places: the mind, or the body. I wish to externalize internal conflict, intrinsic self-consciousness, secret day-nightmares. I believe in the art of the human experience, whether depicted in the piece or experienced in its inevitable translation, of incoherent or dissected thought.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013


by Kendalle Fiasco, 2007

'Ere Dawn broke, and rosy finger'd
Stroked the sculpture of his face,
Lost was I in thoughts that linger
In this dark and dismal space.

Time hath stained me with compassion
Yet I hardly can adore
How in a Plutonian fashion
Enter lost loves from before.

Enter Mem'ry, enter fellows,
O ye violents, O ye liars
Midst the broken-bonèd bellows
Of my self-worth on the pyre!

Speak of nights I still abhor
Or raise your sickly face to flame
That age-old wounds still scream in horror
At the mention of thy name!

Send me swimming in confusion
With your practiced honeyed-speech
Linking horror to illusion
That my youth you still can leech!

Lie to me now, screaming specters
That you earn your hateful keep!
Tears to alm you dream-infectors!
I cannot sleep! I cannot sleep!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Silence versus the Silver Screen Psychosis

By Kendalle Fiasco

“Yeah, we’re just going across the bridge, please,” Brett says as I shut the heavy door behind me. I am inundated by the stink of leather. The driver turns on his meter. “So if you could just take Roebling, that would be fine.” 
            Our faceless chauffeur swings his heavy foot on the accelerator; the telescreen snaps to life. “Hey you! Yeah, you! The one in the back of the cab!” beckon Regis and Kelly, our impersonally familiar friends, flirting, waving, winking, and engaging us. “Be sure and buckle up!” We’re sucked in, just like that. They don’t interact with each other so much as they interact with our presence, maintaining uncanny eye contact, nodding with each spoken syllable, hoping to be the first one picked to be on our team. Kelly’s entire presence is parasitical, tacitly expressing an empathetic knowledge, a mix between an innocent young girl and the foolish but kindly mother who believes she knows best. Their Rosencrantz and Guildenstern act ends with a punch line, and zap! New setting, new speaker, new informal friendliness. Image chases image, shadow chases shadow. Interviews. Archeological digs. Meteorology. Shopping, dining, hot deals, New York City. They care about us. They’re involved in our lifestyles. They want us to save money, to eat well, to bundle up for the coldest weekend of the season. What perfect creatures, with their tiny, unblemished faces, their maternal caring, their approachable demeanors! They’re alluring, they’re seductive, and they want to talk to me.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Waiting For Security to Come, or, BOYCOTT ROSKILDE

“When I was fourteen,” my friend suddenly confided in me, “a gigantic guy climbed on top of me and wouldn’t let me go. He wanted to rape me. I didn’t fight him back sincerely, even then, because I was afraid I would hurt him.” I clamped my eyes shut and bit my lip in a sudden shockwave of acute anger and humiliation; her story sounded all too familiar. Far, far too close to home. I tensed my eyelids so hard I began to see things. I was probably red. I was probably shaking. I wouldn’t really know. Here we’d been friends all this time, and ten years after the assault, she finally felt emotionally safe enough to tell me. Not that I blame her; repression and denial are perhaps the most common means of dealing with an existential mini-death like sexual assault. Thanks to the privacy and safety awarded by the Internet chat we were using, I could cry to my heart’s content, snot and make up streaming down my glistening face—but I didn’t cry. Not really. There was no contending my broken heart. No amount of tears could satiate my own horrible story from just last summer and its conjoined and prolonged sense of failure and humiliation. No cascade of salt water and make up could fix that tender hole in my heart that throbs and recoils when I think about the status of women.
            “Last year,” I began, “my boyfriend Brett took me to a music festival in Denmark to see The Cure,” which has been one of my favorite bands for half of my life. “Of all the music festivals in Europe, it has the lowest rate of violent crime, including rape and sexual assault. It’s considered to be the safest festival in Europe. But it’s not. It has the lowest rate of reported violent crime because there’s no one to report it to.”
            “What’s the festival called?”

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Conquoring Butt Shame: How New Orleans' Sissy Bounce Scene Helped Me Discover My Body

You know what I find so empowering about Big Freedia? Well, you see, all my life I had butt shame. I was ashamed of my ass for being too big and too nice—a giant, constant attractor of unwanted attention—you know, the kind of unwanted attention that blames the victim for attracting it in the first place and for not knowing how to react. I’ve never had an eating disorder, but I was always very conscious of how big my butt was. I monitored it obsessively by trying on different pairs of shorts and seeing how they fit. I did this every day, all my life. And then I discovered Big Freedia, transgendered pioneer of the New Orleans-based Sissy Bounce scene.

“Bend over!” the self-proclaimed Queen Diva demanded in a booming, maternal voice. “I want ass everywhere, ass everywhere!” From here she transitioned into the song of the same title, and a sea of asses of every shape, texture, and color thrust into the air, immodestly clad, celebrating seemingly autonomous lives as they rippled and bounced to the rhythms of gluteal freedom. We call this dance, I later learned, twerking.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Allow me to introduce myself.

Hello, world. My name is Kendalle Fiasco. Perhaps you know me already--maybe you've seen me around metropolitan areas with my Willy Wonka boyfriend in lavish and complicated outfits, or maybe you've seen my mutant deer sculpture installation in articles or terrorizing people at festivals, parties, or galleries. Perchance a glimmer of recognition sparks behind your eyes because you've seen me start a flame war on at least one of various internet forums, brazenly opining and getting all in a tizzy about quality and equality. I hope to bring you quality, equality, and e-quality.

I am a woman of many opinions and autonomous philosophies. I am an artist, a theorist, and a semiotech. Other than that, I will barely identify myself; I believe identity is just an abbreviation of the self, and I wouldn't want you to typecast me as right/wrong/misguided/brilliant before you've given your open mind and I a chance to get to know each other. This is just the beginning of our relationship laden with laughs, tears, rage, drama, plot twists, and all the other unpredictable predicaments typical and transcendent of a sitcom. I hope you will find the courage and confidence to drop your character and surprise us both.

I am always pleased to have a sane, logical, respectful discourse if you happen not to agree with me on something. Please avoid ad hominem, though, because I may well verbally cut out your liver and destroy you. My propensity to do so has earned me the epithet of Decibel Jezebel. I am not a particularly mean person until I have been pushed beyond the bounds of my patience. A snarling darling. Yes.

Welcome to The Complete Fiasco!