Audrey Flake


Embrace Your Conformity

On Display

December 1, 2005 – January 5, 2006


Auditorium Gallery, level 1

MFA Final Project – Visual Art

One day as I was scuba diving I ran into a school of hundreds of yellow fish with black stripes. At first glance they seemed identical. Upon closer observation however, I noticed that no two were exactly alike. Their stripes were all slightly different shapes. Each was unique in its own right, though most of its characteristics were shared by the group. I decided humans are the same way—we are all flesh and bone underneath. For some reason we try to deny that we are more similar than we are unique.

Why has non-trendiness become the trend? Everyone chooses to follow certain trends. The innate desire to belong is real. Why deny it? When viewing the quilt, I am struck by the beauty of diversity and what seems to be the noise of capitalistic society. We use both blankets and labels, to cover ourselves and provide comfort. We cannot escape brands—even in as intimate a place as our own bed, we’re wrapped up and weighed down by them; we hide behind them.

We should stop pretending to have the ability to platonically transcend conformity. It doesn’t have to be a question of either “rebelling against the crowd” or “fitting in.” There is no need to run toward conformity or away from it. It is merely a matter of letting go of the obsession with individuality and admitting that sometimes we conform and sometimes we don’t and that’s okay.