University of Arizona
College of Fine Arts - School of Art

School of Art Galleries

Alain Co

Ever, Always Are

Ever, Always Are is a response to strong dissociative tendencies. When dysregulated, my grasp of reality becomes fragile and I don’t trust my thoughts or perceptions. Memories become slippery, mutable, and easily influenced. When in that state, working with materials brings clarity to an oppressive fog—if I can touch it, I know it is real. Adaptation has driven me towards object-making in all its forms, and I relate this survival strategy to natural phenomena.

Many studies of Earth systems (ecology, climatology, geology, etc.) use extracted core samples from different substrates, like pencil-thin specimens from living trees or massive cylinders removed from the Antarctic. They are used as analogs for recreating past climate and ecological data. Using condensed layers of debris, scientists can paint pictures of the past, solve ecological mysteries, and posit conditions for the future.

The objects I create are formed through accumulation and reformation. Each is an experiment that incorporates an array of materials, using a range of techniques. Strata of texture and color are displayed together in an arc with individual arrangements acting as samples of the core materials. Fragments, residue, and debris that is gathered, donated, or remnant from previous projects are assembled, deconstructed, rearranged, combined, dismantled, and assembled again. This body of work and the experience of my being are grounded in the constant bending, breaking, and reforming of matter through living systems on our planet.

aluminum, ashes, cardboard, corn cob pellets, cotton, rumex patiencia leaves, dandelion stems, bamboo, spanish moss, pomegranate husk, juniper strips, yellow pine, silica, petroleum wax, tissue paper, steel, bronze, plaster, rockite, PLA, glass, latex paint, powder pigment, urethane resin, spray paint, wood glue, gel medium, charcoal, chicken wire, expansion foam, joint compound, thread, sycamore bark, taro leaves, rubber fig leaves

MFA 2023 Thesis Exhibition