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Six Objects for Breaking the Skin, 1997/2003

Series 9 oil paintings on glass, etched text naming six knives found in kitchen sets, polyurethane cutting board, doily crocheted by vendor in Mexican market


Exhibition: Universidad de Guanajuato, Mexico


The collection of culinary knives are painted realistically on glass, a surface which is by nature fragile yet dangerous. The name for each knife has been etched at the bottom of the glass. The are mounted one behind the other from smallest to largest, on a polyurethane cutting board. The knives, all part of a kitchen set, refer to food, the home, nourishment—all of which are concepts associated with women where thrift and economy are both admired and compensated. The image of each knife projected onto the next creates the sense of accumulation, and references not only the tangible object (the knife) but also the intangible body (alluded to by the connection to food). Here one thinks of cutting, opening, chopping, slicing. The viewer is offered a tool by which to design and carve his or her ‘norm’, be it ideal or otherwise.

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