© 2019 by Mallory Feltz

Lineage

custom designed wallpaper with custom built wainscoting and moulding

2009

Affiliation and identifying one’s self within a group, in order to understand one’s place in culture, is accentuated in this piece. Lineage is a design comprised of portraits of my family and friends. The large, crest-like image centers on images of my family and soon-to-be-family members. Many of these family images are repeated to form smaller, internal patterns within the composition. Formed from portraits of my friends at a certain point and time, all of the undulating connection lines between the “crests” create the feel of an extended family. At this point in my life, family and friends have begun to overlap and fuse, integrating true bloodlines with social and situational bloodlines. In this piece, one person does not seem more important than the other -- they are intertwined in my history. Theories and strategies of genealogical mapping and social networking are compounded in this optical piece. Only through intimate interactions and repeated exposures to the wallpaper design can the viewer find each unique portrait, reveal the original design, and explore the monument. Standing back from Lineage, the viewer is only aware of the complex repetitious patterning commonly seen in French damask wallpaper. However, when the viewer comes closer and starts to examine the paper, the focal point changes from an overall composition to individual contemporary portraits and specific facial features bearing expressions. Only through intimate interactions and repeated exposures to the wallpaper design can the viewer find each unique portrait, reveal the original design, and explore the monument.

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