Feels Like When You Have it, Then It's Gone, Summer, 2009
SFAI Grad Studios

Paper, Staples, Afghans, Tent, Videos, Fountains, Parachute, Fans, Yarn, Rope, Motors, Lights, Obsessive Behavior
40' x 30' x 16' (3 Room Installation)

© Nancy Tobin, 2013







Videos screened within installation:

Make Me Believe, 2009, Bernal Heights Park, SF, CA
Setting up situations in which I must struggle against myself in an attempt to reach God. 

Videos of tunnels I drove through looped together to infer entering the psyche and being stuck in repetitive and obsessive thought processes. 

Growing up a military brat and being forced to relocate over fourteen times before I turned nineteen, the repeated trauma of forced dislocation set up within me an internal conflict: heightened fears of loss, countered and overcompensated for by fierce independence and self-isolation-a denial of the need for others. The urge to attain love and connection (Eros) is suppressed, denied, and pushed away, consciously and subconsciously blocked by the ego's defensive death drive (drive towards death, destruction and non-existence), leaving me caught up in circular state of frustration. Through repetition compulsion, I subconsciously seek to reenact the traumatic event in order to "master the sense of loss"...in what feels like a trap; a futile sense of not being able or willing to make it different. Through the darkness of Freudian dreamlike self-psychoanalysis, the conflicts of the conscious and subconscious desires are brought to the light, confronted and processed; creating a tension that is disquieting, yet engaging. My installations are immersive, experiential, self-portraiture, process and material based. I choose to work with what I have, to use economy of means through selection of everyday materials from my surroundings that, most importantly, don't require the help of anyone else to construct. Pushing the limits of the materials drives each work; through accumulation, re-appropriation of function, and intensity of application, the meaning of the materials becomes simultaneously charged and deconstructed. I insist on honesty, revealing all of the flaws and low-tech tricks and work with the happy accidents that occur. Each new work is born from the last, where I further investigate some element of discovery. I often do not know where the work will end and thrive on the process of exploration, blurring the line between work and play. Through psychoanalytic examination and analysis, truths are exposed, on a personal level, and more broadly, on a human level: we are all isolated, must all reconcile the aloneness, must all become practiced at holding the discomfort of the unfathomable emptiness. How does one endure? How does one come to some sense of workable terms and accept what feels like being powerless in the face of the unmasterable? The juxtaposition of diametrically opposed forces that clash to create a contentious state of confusion enwrapped with beauty is analogous to the breaking down of the ego's defenses, getting comfortable with the repeated dying to the self, ultimately surrendering, to transcend aloneness and become one with the ultimate Eros, God.
Location: SFAI Grad Studios

Created December 16, 2009