Doreen LaMantia Maloney is currently Associate Professor of New Media at the University of Kentucky and is the former President and founding member of the New Media Caucus. Her work has been shown internationally in Naples, Buenos Aires, Paris, Istanbul, and Havana. Some of her favorite national venues have been the Soho Joyce Theater, the Tribeca Film Festival in New York and the Teknika Radica Festival in San Diego and her public sculpture and performance in GolYazi, Turkey. She holds degrees from Indiana University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison in German, Russian, and Turkish History as well as a MFA in Fine Arts.
Crash Site reflects the confusion and violence of our world as advertised when played and replayed by the media. Walter Benjamin wrote in 1936 that future generations would watch their own destruction as entertainment in his famous essay on art and mechanical reproduction. In this work I am reflecting that this age is upon us.
Unlike sculptor John Chamberlain whose crushed cars become beautiful objects, I do not see anything beautiful in these wrecks. I instead attempt to take the image with distance and distortion out of fear of revealing too much ugliness. This work is more in the vain of Andy Warhol’s Green Car Crash that highlights the schizoid disconnect between normal everyday appearances and the reality of death, tragedy and destruction. As Warhol suggests, this disconnect allows us, the viewer, to just watch with detachment and morbid interest. I find photographing the wrecks repulsive, but I find their presentation here a totally different experience, surreal, even aesthetic. It seems that even being “real time” does not alter the disconnect that media creates when used to present reality.
The current media and art market desire for work about violence and violation of private sorrows reflects Warhol’s idea that society is unable to cope or manage meaningful empathy to such images, but instead reacts with curiosity, repulsion and catharsis.