Copyright © 2019 Aimee M. Howard-Clinger  -  All Rights Reserved.
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Artist Statement: Decisions, Decisions

Some believe what separates humans from other animals and makes us superior is our freedom of choice. In everyday interactions, the ability to make immediate decisions usually comes as second nature. However, when presented with very difficult choices that will dramatically shift the course of a person’s existence, this gift of choice often feels like a burden.

 

This series of work examines the ways in which decisions are made. These pieces only function when physically attached to the body, and the wearer makes a conscious choice to interact with the object, which can be used in several ways. Some function as a tool for examining facts and gradually ruling out options until a conclusion is made. Thus, the user is the sole entity determining his or her fate. On the contrary, the wearer may find more comfort in allowing a power greater than oneself to provide an answer. As such, these objects can also be used in a manner that enables the wearer to be guided by Divine Providence or fate. These pieces provide the viewer with semiotic indicators such as arrows and percentages to suggest a means for finding direction and obtaining resolution to a question.

 

Each object is composed of weighty materials such as metal and cement. As a result, they bear physical strain on the wearer as a representation of the internalized burden that is inevitably intertwined with difficult decisions. A stark contrasting color pallet is used to suggest being put in a position of forced, clear-cut decision making, ‘yes’ or ‘no’. In such situations ‘maybe’ never seems to be a viable option. The user is not allowed to settle into a gray area, which becomes disconcerting. Once an erroneous choice has been made, the ability to revoke negative outcomes may not be an option. Thus, it is this inability to control a set of consequences that accompany a decision that is feared, not the choice itself.