ARTIST STATEMENT

ARTIST STATEMENT

Renée Cinderhouse

I am an installation artist; and photographer.
But, I never liked photography. Not for the sake of photography; I like objects, works that exist in real space and real time. But through my lens, I am able to transform my installations into timeless objects of contemplation. My obsession with detail drives my hand to sculpt and my eye to document moments others may not have noticed. What you see is in my work is a combination of the sensibility of cinematographer with the dirt and grit of a mixed-media sculptor.
My installations are conversations between my sculptures, found objects and a distinct location. My work begins by steeping myself in a particular location, allowing all textures, details, scents, qualities of light and anomalies of detail to stain my sensibility. All places are infused with their own history; since my installations use each particular place as a conceptual leaping-off point, utilizing objects found within the location, the work I create in each place could not have been made anywhere else.
My fascination with other people's physicality draws me to figurative and representational art, but my realist style is charged with surreal, dream-like moods. My work should seem as if it escaped purely from the landscape of the mind; pushing perception of the familiar into something new. But my work is real. All of it exists in the world as physical objects; all of it is tactile, all of it is quantifiable. My photos are not digitally manipulated; they capture simple honest details in-camera, a direct record of what I see.
Offering a fixed privileged perspective, using each location as a stage, the found objects and sculptures as actors, I distill my narrative into images that resonate. My work echoes the artistic approach of Eugenio Recuenco, Joel-Peter Witkin, Gregory Crewdson, Andres Serrano, Robert Mapplethorpe, Diver & Aguilar; artists that create narrative vignettes, expressive tableaux, both within found settings and crafted stage-sets, creating immersive experiences for both artist and viewer, yet their artistic vision is documented primarily through a lens. Although these artists sometimes created painstakingly detailed sets for their work, they considered themselves photographers instead of installation artists. I consider the opposite; I am an installation artist, not a photographer, but both are true.
Using beauty to engage in difficult material, my multidisciplinary practice is imbued with literary, art historical and scientific references. Recognizable as metaphor, my work speaks to the human condition, our ability to direct and alter the natural world, our purposeful manipulation of genetics and our selective memory of history.