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Exercises in Suffering Make Me Laugh

Miyoshi Barosh is a conceptual artist with an interest in the socio-political underpinnings of American culture. Her work centers on ideas concerned with cultural and individual failure (the failure to make life better). Materials such as glass, steel, Plexiglas, foam, fiberglass, paint, fabric, and yarn are used with both comic irony and heartfelt sincerity pointing to both material and emotional excess. The uses of historical craft processes in combination with digital technologies contradict ideas about progress and technological determinism. As neoliberalism and its symptomatic aspirational drive for more, better, newer things are values based on superficial perceptions of value over deeper emotional connections.

Barosh’s work points to the current political and societal shift in responsibility to create and sustain meaningful lives from society to the individual. The work refers to how this cultural failure together with the speed of new technologies and the borderless world of social media becomes internalized within us. The current opioid epidemic reflects this pressure to perform, numbing the pain resulting from anxiety, depression, burn-out, and other adjustment disorders. My work counters this pervasive sense of despair with dystopian irony.

With material, process, and/or text, the work becomes a manifestation of competing and ever-escalating emotions around cultural and social psychopathologies through a handmade carnivalesque, a mischievous confrontation between external and internal realities.