This exhibition, held at SASA Gallery, South Australia, was my examination exhibition for my Master by Research at the University of South Australia. My research sought to understand how, given the dominance of film within the contemporary horror genre, visual artists might incorporate horror within practice. Drawing upon major works of horror scholarship, my research sought to identify horror’s dominant thematic concerns and characteristics, and through studio practice, identify strategies artists could employ to respond to these concerns or otherwise fulfil the social function of the horror text. My research suggests that horror’s theories fall under three broad categories; Monsters, that is, monster stories, Meat, stories of victim-hood and our fear of our corporeal vulnerability, and Meta; stories driven primarily by the media used to tell horror’s stories and fear arising from the increased sophistication of the media and devices we use to tell stories or otherwise make sense of the world. These works, and the research from which they stem, respond to these three pillars of horror to demonstrate the rich conceptual and material terrain they offer the artist.
From the exhibition text:
This body of work seeks to demonstrate how the visual artist might make a friend of horror; that is, how they might successfully engage with the thematic concerns of the horror genre within practice.
Realised across two and three-dimensional media, these works seek to examine and subvert the social functions of horror’s narratives or use horror’s motifs as mechanisms to confront fears and anxieties, both personal and collective.
Drawing upon literature, film, and visual art’s own violent canon, these works seek to demonstrate the artist’s place in a genre which is both contemporary and enduring.
Photographs courtesy of Joseph Haxan.