American West: Myths + Figments

Antonia Stoyanovich

2017 - Ongoing

Boundaries are twisted in my work, and what is mundane vs mythical is always in question. Using image based media my practice expands the mythology of the American West into contemporary and physical content that viewers can grapple with. Utilizing the image through photography, video, sculpture, and installation I manipulate characters and motifs to assume myth as a way of commenting on culture and gender. Toying with the relationship between fact and fiction has become especially relevant as we witness the outpouring of fabrication in the media today. What is believable whether its real, myth, artifact, or art continues to fascinate me.

Raised in the American west, the place has always taken mythical proportions in my mind. Through growing from girl to woman in this part of the country I imagine how different motifs of the fictionalized “west” sometimes fit into a contemporary context haphazardly. A stark contrast to a historically hyper masculine view of the American west, my photography utilizes beauty and fragile moments to associate itself in the history of environmental portraiture as well as romanization of gesture and poetics. A collection of figments, from a fragments of horses, to conjoined white doves or native beauty pageant winners my images search for myth. Not to prove it's existence but visualize the echo of its power in the area still, moments intensified and romanticized by fresh eyes. Moments that are believed in as much as they are seen.

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