Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Fine Arts


Visual Arts


David Merritt


This dossier is an accompanying document to my MFA thesis exhibition, Liquidation (2014). Within my dossier, I articulate the formal and material considerations of my art making practice in which everyday household goods acquired primarily from the dollar store are manipulated in order to consider the “abject” qualities inherent to these items. Observed through the theoretical work of Julia Kristeva in her essay, Powers of Horror, the “abject” as a term is critically and historically applied to the art objects I create in order to explore the dollar store as the basis for my material selection, but also as a psychological space in which we inhabit as a culture. Informed by the formal and material concerns of visual artists Jessica Stockholder, Rachel Harrison, and Luanne Matineau, I consider my work in relation to these artistic practices. In turn, I am able to articulate further within this text how the generative process behind my artworks acts as a gestural extension of my own working body. By constructing art objects made out of an accumulated and excessive amount of everyday materials, I position these works as a type of warning of the present consumer state, and as a cautionary tale of an impending future.