personal injury object, 2016 Steel, rubber, electrical cord, paint
Whose responsibility is safety? It seems that it is anyone’s but our own as people constantly look to blame an administrator, an organization or society itself for every injury and mishap that occurs. The expectation is that it is someone’s job to ensure our safety and wellbeing. It is someone’s responsibility to look after the world and make damned sure there are no sharp edges, no tripping hazards, nothing injuriously unexpected. It is always someone’s responsibility, but never ours.
The least safe situation imaginable is the one in which we expect our safety to be handled.
The least responsible thing we can do for others is to presume to act on behalf of their safety, because what we really do is rob them of their own responsibility.
The medium I have chosen to utilize for this work, beyond its materials, is the language of systematic safety and the improper use of that language’s syntax. The materials are recognizable, even banal, but they are steeped in a system of codes of safety that often go unrecognized. There are literally laws for how these materials must exist and interact in the world so that we don’t have to think about them. By using these materials removed from their coded system of safety I hope to make clear the independence that things and the use of those things have from the systems, such as safety codes, that we assign to them. At the same time, I hope to clarify that safety is not inherent and is, in all ways that matter, our own responsibility.
Matthew Barncord creates across disciplines, influenced by language, psychoanalysis and the contemporary decline of craft and narrative. With a focus on sculpture and photography, his work asks critical questions about meaning and established ways of thinking by exposing contradictions. In his sculpture, he often plays with the physical vernacular of his environment and works backwards towards meaning using lay self-analysis. He thinks that meaning is created through its discovery, rather than related or expressed. His photographs of nature include suburban development and human wildlife. Matthew earned his BA in Art Studio from the University of California at Davis in 2016, where he studied sculpture and photography. He currently lives near Sacramento, Ca.
Find out more: http://cargocollective.com/MatthewBarncord
Visual and written content by Matthew Barncord, curated by Aida Lizalde and Carmel Dor.