Cage Match Project, ROUND NINE: I see london, I see france
By Annie Miller
OPENING: November 10th, 2018 in conjunction with East Austin Studio Tour
Simone meanwhile amused herself by slipping the eye into the profound crevice of her ass, and after lying on her back and raising her legs and bottom, she tried to keep the eye there simply by squeezing her buttocks together. But all at once, it spat out like a stone squeezed from a cherry.
-Georges Bataille, Story of the Eye
On the surface, Georges Bataille’s Story of the Eye reads like a (sometimes incoherent) surrealist, pornographic fantasy. As I read this text, I am equal parts intrigued, excited, and embarrassed. I eventually slow down and look deeper. It then becomes clear to me that Bataille’s use of sensory language enables an encounter with the impossible, where boundaries of “the real” and fantasy momentarily converge.
Similarly, my paintings merge everyday domestic routine with a waking aspirational fantasy life. I explore ideas, desires, influences, and personas without a hierarchy: my shadow merging with the shadow of my dog, a fight I had with my partner, a game I made up as a little girl, the desire to sit on a fan on a hot day. Boundaries of “the real” and imagined fluidly shift, reflect, and coalesce into paintings and then are reflected back into life experiences.
In Cage Match Project’s ROUND NINE: I see london, I see france, I use the cage as a space for perceiving––a space where fantasy, reality, desire, touch, play, penetration, terror, voyeurism, exhibitionism, shame, and pleasure are visualized before ultimately falling apart. ROUND NINE: I see london, I see france is a space where the viewer, like Simone in Story of the Eye, can embrace the eye and that fleeting moment where sensuality, desire, “the real”, and fantasy meet––before inevitably slipping away once more.
. -Annie Miller