Laura Splan’s conceptually driven work employs a variety of media including sculpture, digital media and works on paper. She often uses found objects and appropriated images to explore the social construction of our perceptions. Her work has been exhibited domestically and internationally in a wide range of curatorial contexts including craft, feminism, technology, design, science, medicine and ritual. Her work was recently commissioned for an exhibit at the CDC Foundation, and she is the recipient of a Jerome Foundation Travel Grant (2007). Her work is included in “Manuf®actured: The Conspicuous Transformation of Everyday Objects” (Chronicle Books) and “Specimen: Representing the Natural World” (Rutgers).
My work explores perceptions of beauty and horror, comfort and discomfort. I use anatomical and medical imagery as a point of departure to explore these dualities and our ambivalence towards the human body. I often combine scientific images and materials with more domestic or familiar ones. I try to create work that evokes a dichotomous experience with formal imagery that upon closer inspection reveals some uncomfortable truth about our cultural and biological conditions.
I am often inspired by the inherent qualities of a material or process. I enjoy the experimentation that goes into the discovery that the viscosity of blood facilitates its use as “ink” or the materiality of remnant facial peel allows its use as “fabric”. Deciphering the narrative implications and poetic possibilities within these qualities is an important part of my practice. I am interested in an exploration into the meaning that a culture projects onto an object, material, or image as well as in an investigation into its physical attributes. It is important that the work be reflexive and self-contained -- how not only the form of an object can reveal meaning but also the materials and process by which it was made.