In FEEL BETTER, Miyoshi Barosh's second solo exhibition of multi-media works at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, Miyoshi Baroshfocuses on the shift in responsibility from society to the individual to create and sustain meaningful lives and, concurrently, the way cultural failure has become internalized. Value, however, in Barosh’s work is a “projection of ourselves onto things” like cute animals, mythic landscapes, cultural aphorisms, and the built environment. Her use of vernacular craft processes and folk traditions in combination with digital technologies contradict ideas about progress and technological determinism.
Her work Arcadiais an assemblage of accumulation, consumption, and destruction with its faux dimensionality as a folksy-crude parody of Tronand the landscapes of computer gaming in conjunction with home videos of cats from YouTube. In this mediated experience of nature, reduced to floral-patterned fabrics and digitized kittens, animals are consumed as constructs of cuteness, an addictive escape to an interiorized “happy place.” The images of the kittens reflect a culturally induced need for self-medication.
An extension of the ideas elaborated in Arcadia, I ♥ Kittiesare layered, screened, Instagram-perfected reproductions of captured kitty heads, the new celebrity icons of the digital age, at once eye candy and hypnotic drug.
From a kind of interiorized form of self-medication to projecting out onto the landscape and built memorials, Monuments to the Failed Future
refers to industrial capitalism’s utopian promise of shared wealth. Barosh‘s models parody male-dominated power as represented by public monuments and projects. The individual titles within the Monuments series, for example, Model for the Monument to a Manipulative State of Well-Being is strident, manifesto-like in opposition to the inflated model itself. Each “model” is also depicted in situ on a digital photogravure print made from vintage postcards of scenic America: the projected landscapes of our collective national consciousness. Today, with the rapid growth of technological innovation, the assuagement of negative emotions has taken the place of any progressive social action. This, and the decentralization of power, has made the monument superfluous.
The title work, Feel Better, is a billboard-sized, large text proclamation exhorting readers to action: to affect emotional change. The inadequacies of this text to conform to higher graphic standards subsume its ability to accomplish that which it demands. With material, process, and text, Barosh makes work that is a manifestation of competing emotions around cultural conceits and identity.
“Through the intense materiality of language-as-sculpture, the work activates a kind of monumental craftsmanship that oscillates between the fleeting virtuality of a Facebook ‘wall’ and the timeless finality of a tombstone.”
Annetta Kapon, BOMB, Fall 2013