Amy Cousins, MFA 2016

Thesis Exhibition: February 17 – 20, 2016

Reception: Friday, February 19, 6 – 8pm

Hours: Wednesday – Saturday, 11am – 6pm

tufted newspaper

All the Queerness Fit to Print: The Abilene Reporter News 1967-1975, 2015
Assembled articles from Mom’s hometown news screenprinted onto mulberry paper; foam, buttons, wood, 59”x42”. 

tufted newspaper showing articles related to homosexuality

All the Queerness Fit to Print: The New York Times 1967-1975 (detail), 2015
Assembled articles from Dad’s hometown news screenprinted onto mulberry paper; foam, buttons, wood, 59”x42”.  

Not In Our House works across media including printmaking, fabric, and sculpture to explore the constructions of identity, family, and domestic space and the permeability between the self, the home, and the outside world. In the exhibition, upholstery works as a metaphor for the masks we wear in order to investigate queerness and normativity within the entanglements of identity, desire, and societal pressure. Home is evoked via furniture and three false walls covered in floral wallpaper, constricting the viewer while also revealing the artifice of the space through the walls’ exposed construction. The furniture is not “ordinary” in that it casts jello molds on the scale of furniture and uses oversized newspaper cushions as wall hangings. The title, Not In Our House, echoes the homo and trans phobia that enters the house in the form of newsprint that the artist has pulled from her personal history—each wall is covered in the queer content of the daily news from the year of her birth and the others from her parents’ teenage years in Houston, Abilene, and New York, respectively. The installation is rooted in the subjective experience of the artist and speaks to broader experiences of domestic (dis)comfort, queerness and respectability through its performative gestures of family and so-called private spaces.

Amy Cousins is an interdisciplinary artist from Houston, Texas. She received her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Printmaking will be graduating with her MFA in Printmaking from the Tyler School of Art and Architecture in 2016.

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All images courtesy the artist.