Still from video ‘Chief Resource Management Officer’, 2014
Ellen Mueller is an interdisciplinary artist exploring issues related to late-stage capitalism
as it affects daily life. Within her work she strives to create experiences that engage the
cultural conscience of the audience, while addressing social and political issues in a variety
of venues. Both visually and conceptually, she is interested in contrast, especially as it relates
to contemporary anxieties and ideals. Through specific compositional choices, subjects are
dissociated from their original meaning, and the systems in which they normally function
are exposed. Her work is inspired by a number of events and phenomena at once, and often
hinges on a bizarre juxtaposition of two or more seemingly unrelated influences. Through this work, she challenges the binarieshumans continually construct, and hope to disrupt seemingly infinite cycles.
Various aspects of her work could be described as simultaneously humorous and unsettling. She mines the ways capitalism is integral to all aspects of everyday living and decision making, from food and shelter, to clothing and energy. Absurdity and humour are ways for addressing this creeping influence, even if such gestures are largely symbolic. In addressing these issues, she often use imagery sourced from dreams, which includes a great deal of discord and symbolism. She relies heavily on online image searches and self- directed photo shoots to generate these strange and disparate compositions.
My practice also has strong ties to place. Cultures and individuals maintain different fantasies related to place. Thus, Ellen examines both the human need for ‘conclusive’ stories, and question whether anecdotes fictionalise’ the histories of various places. In this way, my work wrestles with concepts such as authenticity and objectivity by using an archival approach and quasi-scientific precision as she peruses a range of different locations and communities.
Social Media: @ellenmmueller