Therese Stowell marries the bombast of the Baptist preacher and George Lucas with the rationality of science and business to create works advertising promise and doom. Working within the language of business and technology, she creates slick, seductive manufactured objects that both critique and embody the American dream.
The Minister of Information explicates an apocalyptic future….
‘My fellow Americans, hear this. The empire crumbles. The backlash against our financial and cultural expansion swells. The military is overextended, the economy is faltering. Corporations and a powerful elite run the government, taking action we would never conscience and provoking widespread enmity. Over-consumption and carelessness destroy our environment. Science is running amok in the name of progress. The widening gap between rich and poor brews resentment, which bubbles over in acts of desperation. Something has to give, and will’.
Stowell’s idiosyncratic work resists literal interpretation. In fact, it should be viewed as an unsolvable puzzle or even a riddle without a discernable answer. It is the constructed systems of meaning through textual exploration and the presentation of the information using the tools of science and business that makes Therese’s work so intriguing and multi-faceted. These systems frequently take the form of arrowed diagrams, which connect words or sentences to create networks of explanation.
Whist appearing complete and authoritative, each work ultimately proves inclusive and therefore, ultimately enigmatic. It is part of the human condition to rationalise our personal and social existence and yet, fundamentally we understand the futility of this endeavour. Stowell’s work exists between the uneasy realm of post-modern scepticism and a meta-narrative yearning for truth and belief.
The End of The World, 2003
107cm x 107cm
Giclee print on aluminium and perspex