*”Baptized in Sugar” is a visual memoir of growing up in a house with a unique kind of privilege: we were saturated in unconditional love, allowed boundless exercise of our own free will, and we were always allowed to make any autonomous choice we wanted.
*That kind of love makes the rest of the world, forever, pale in comparison.
*My parents let my sisters and I spend an entire summer trying to dig our own swimming pool in the back yard (it ended up being nearly 3 feet deep and about 10 feet across, lined with trash bags, and required a constant stream of water from the hose just to rest in a mud pit). We could cook whatever we wanted, but we never used recipes, we just messed up the kitchen inventing horrible concoctions and baking them. I still do not know the actual rules to board games, because in our house, we could mix pieces between games, make up our own rules, and the winner was determined by democratic vote.
*The show includes several sculptures (like a 14-foot tootsie pop called “Death Wish Summer”, 2019), photographs, videos, paintings, and one ceramic pig with a pink fur jacket (“You’re No Esau”, 2019).
*The experiences described are not quite factual, but pulled from a combination of memories and impressions (some of my own and some I’m sure I borrowed- with three sisters, you never really know. Some memories even turned out to be dreams (there was no clown painting on my bedroom wall as an infant, but I recreated it for this show anyway).
*In general, my work does not concern itself with truth. The truth is just waiting to be proven wrong, The world of the fake- copies, replicas, plastic tchochkes- these things know themselves to be false. Fake things can never be proven true, and in that way, they are the most honest things I know.
*For instance, I prefer plastic animals to real ones. In fact, I have a famous distaste for real animals. They reek of the real world. A statue of an animal is neutral, lovable, permanent. I can project whatever I want onto it and it can handle the burden.
*I don’t care about craft: it have no interest in impressing an audience with how good I am at something. The real challenge, to me, is to make my viewer care about something I didn’t make, something that knowingly exhibits only a level of craft that could be achieved from a short youtube video. To that purpose, much of the work that looks prefabricated is actually made and vis-versa. If they think “this is just a piece of paper stuck on a board, they’ll actually come to realize it’s not paper at all, but a painstaking layering of spray paint and gel markers on a board.
*This was my first show in Indianapolis in ten years.
About Lori Miles
Miles is an associate professor of art and art history at DePauw University. Her work focuses on art making, mostly dealing with cultural memes – especially looking at the gap between sculpture and contemporary controversies. She works at the intersection of traditional sculpture and use of online images for which copyright has expired. Online images inspire her sculpture and art. During summer 2015, she was recipient of a faculty-student research grant through which she worked with students to merge traditional art with online images and other online research.
This exhibition is made possible by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and The Efroymson Family Fund.