Artist Statement

Hands – Simon Ward © Denise Startin

A protagonist disappears without trace, leaving no clues as to how this scene should be read. Props, abandoned sets, objects, processes are set in motion shifting between origination, citation and appropriation. Deliberation and conceptual logic encounters contingency and improvisation within a procedural choreography. Throughout this process thematic, contextual and biographical information merges and divergent, polyphonic narrative threads are interwoven to form part of a complex whole. Objects, words and images are unwritten. Personal effects, contexts and histories are recuperated and restaged merging fact with fiction. The private is performed in public.

Working primarily with found objects and images Denise’s practice is curatorial in approach. Engaging with expanded conceptions of site; actual, fictional, physical and textual central concerns include the collection, archives, representation and re-presentation, narrative, object, image and word relations and the intimate. The work is site, location and context sensitive; there is a tacit acknowledgement that sites and situations are constructed from a complex network of relations – embodied, symbolic, socio-political, cultural and discursive. This contributes to autobiographical identity and affects how that identity is situated.

A continually recurring hinge is the passage between the private and the public. To take a curatorial approach is also to ‘take care’ and this care-taking recuperates and re-imagines minor histories, narratives, objects and images. Working continuously with multiple references, often an encounter, object, place, image or figure whose voice or voices are adopted, each body of work is directed toward its own context, boundaries and form. Throughout the process the artist protagonist occupies various performative guises (institutional or otherwise) of author, choreographer, critic, curator, director, performer or seducer.