Katie Rand – My own battle


Katie Rand explores the tension between the laws of the universe and the artist’s will. She uses food as a counterpoint to her Minimalist sensibility so that a battle ensues between the unruly nature of the material and the artist’s need for perfection. She considers notions of material, process, and gender with a sense of humour and irony in order to challenge the viewer’s perception of traditional sculpture. This creates an innovative and exciting shift from the Minimalist ideal. The result is a visual and olfactory experience that combines Minimalist forms teetering on the brink of collapse with foodstuffs redolent of childhood. Using food creates a paradox, it contests the high quality materials and masculine geometric structures used within Minimalism.

The artist explores gender through her making process, questioning whether the rhetoric and form associated with the artwork of the Minimalists embodied or excluded gender. All of her work is made by hand in a domestic manner, addressing the traditional role of the housewife in the kitchen with an ironic twist and thereby challenging and undermining Minimalism’s machismo.

She battles to make perfect functional structures, with materials that are anything but structural. The work is labour-intensive, it tests her physical and mental strength. The need for perfection is always lost to the victory of the material, but although the acceptance of its properties has to define the making and its limits, the artist continues the battle, determined to win.

Katie Rand wants to reveal the most fundamental character and reality of the material in her artworks, exposing its function, form and processes. She attempts to engage the viewer in an immediate, direct and unmediated experience. The work is uncompromisingly radical and challenging: it proposes a new way of looking at the world.

Written by Amanda Lazar

August 2010