Readily Available Materials
Artists have been using readily available materials for as long as there have been artists. Someone asked me if I bought the syringes I used to make Check Residuals. The answer is, no. While they are not what typically comes to mind, when talking about materials that are readily available, they are my readily available materials, used daily to tube feed my son. I have cleaned, stored and collected them for many years. I've always found them of value- not just for their originally intended function, but for their materiality. When I sold my house and moved, I tossed several of the saved stash away and was, later, sorry for that.
I'm not trying to change the identity of these medical objects by turning them into art. First of all, I already see them as art. What I want, is for you to identify with them, even if you have never had to experience them intimately, the way I do.
I want you to see them for what they are. But, I want you to see them in another light... for what they are....a light that is less alienating, less frightening and more embracing. After-all, therapeutic science, medicine and technology, in good hands, has the power to heal. That's pretty amazing. And in many ways, art can have a parallel effect.
Ultimately, the years of ritual and accumulation to make Check Residuals, followed with months of work; Then many hours to install. And the piece was documented in a video that is less than five minutes in duration. I hope it is a moving five minutes.
Whether or not a piece of work is successful is not something, I think, an artist can know during the process of creating that thing. It may take a long time to know that answer. I had a lot of dialogue with people who passed through the installation. More responses were emotional than I ever expected. But it wasn't until someone said 'they' wanted to meet my son that I felt a a significant level of success.
A video of Check Residuals can be seen on my website: AliceMariePerreault.com and on Youtube.