Ellen Mueller on "Book of Enid"
I'd like to share some of the ideas that drive my most recent work, “Book of Enid” a series of over 125 drawings that are compiled and self-published as hard & softcover books, and which are currently on view at the USF Contemporary Art Museum and USF Centre Gallery.
The arc of the narrative follows a time traveler as she attempts to stop a violent conflict after it has already occurred. While it has specific personal meaning and a dry sense of humor from my point of view, I invite participants to invent their own explanations of what the narrative means.
In this work, I explore the shared, everyday challenge of resisting change and maintaining control, while addressing social and political issues through a variety of images. Control takes many forms in the work, including the controlling act of creating the narrative itself.
Other forms of control include the attempt at controlling time via time travel, or the act of archiving, which can be viewed as a futile attempt at controlling a collection. The act of time travel is ever present throughout the book as it is the central focus of the main character, Enid. Archiving is integral to both Evelyn and the Moites, characters from the book who are consumed by acts of organization. In the case of Evelyn, she spends her days filing dreams away in vast banks of pigeon holes, while the Moites are a race of people who do nothing more that set up elaborate pathways of ropes and stanchions.
Through my work and this narrative, I react to non-stop technological development, global climate change, a hyperactive news media, and the omnipresent consumer culture. Imposing narrative structure on my work is an effort to apply order to a world that feels frighteningly out-of-control at times.
-- by Ellen Mueller.