Artist Statement



My work examines the contradictions of contemporary society, where the rise of technology offers the promise of ease, luxury, and connection, yet it often complicates our lives, wastes resources, and alienates us from each other.  I also think a lot about currency.  Not merely in the sense of “money,” but also in the larger sense of exchange and acceptance.  What do we as people value today?  And how do we assign those values? 

The work centers on the human experience.  Even when discussing topics such as global warming or the extinction of animal species, the questions are framed by how humans perceive these catastrophes, and whether we can be made to sufficiently care.  I’d like to believe that we can.

My videos often subvert visual tropes found in contemporary culture such as commercials, documentaries, and narrative films with unconventional performances and props such as money, food, and ice.  Time-lapse is another way to induce “performances” from inanimate objects. 

Ideas for my work might generate from any source: as a topic on this morning’s news, or images from a dream, possibly even something I witnessed long ago that I can’t quite shake and so I return to it, again and again, like the irritant that becomes the oyster’s pearl.  But for the idea to sustain me long enough to become a fully developed work, it needs to feel vital, urgent, and open to participation and interpretation by the viewer.  I don’t like closed systems and predetermined outcomes. 

Though I sometimes work in sculpture and performance, I primarily create in video, because I like its quirky contrasts.  It provides immediacy, yet demands planning.  The media is often perceived by the public as more “real,” but it can be manipulated like any other.  Video touches on virtually every other discipline, including sculpture, painting, typography, performance, music, and of course, photography.  A video starts with me alone, thinking, dreaming and organizing, and then it inevitably requires collaboration with performers, assistants, camera operators, etc. before suddenly it’s just me again, sitting alone in an editing room.

© Copyright K. Frech