Christine Negus

Haunted by the history of pop music, frightened by the loneliness of outer space and desire brimming for the bodies of the dead celebrities, my work satirizes sadness, capitalizes on the naivety of children and bastardizes the pleasures of remembering. Within my practice I use dead celebrities, ghosts, children and outer space as figurations of loss. However, the loss I am pointing towards is empty, culturally relevant and disappointingly celebratory.

If nostalgia, in its most basic meaning is a desire to return to the past, then the returns longed for and presented within my work are always uneasy homecomings. My practice is centralized around these unfulfilling returns, which are a specific type of loss. This particular loss is melancholic, if mourning exists it is only a façade, and the aforementioned themes are its imaging. This melancholy is translated into a longing for something lost, passed or never there. This is the nostalgia that permeates the work. It is melancholic because it has no real ties to the specific thing it is longing for, and therefore it is actually exiled nostalgia that pervades.

The exiled nostalgia reflects on the condition of the current digital climate, where things are infinitely kept, archived…remembered. So ultimately, the works reflect on the inability for loss at a time when remembering is prolific. There is a longing for loss itself, nostalgia for nostalgia.

The works are not conventionally saddened by their lack. Characters sing with supposed joy, others sprout flowers and many shine with glee. Happiness and sadness are enmeshed and entangled around disjunctive narratives, fragments and objects. Happiness and sadness, polemical tropes, which are conventionally pitted against one another, become far less separate. The work aims to make the viewer laugh at terrible things, take joy in loneliness and sing in celebration about everything that is frightening and awful.

Artist Statement