AMERICAN, BORN 1964
The individual pickets of Alyson Shotz’s Mirror Fence share their shape and height with picket fences enclosing front and back yards all across the United States, but Shotz’s fence is reflective and extends in a straight line, enclosing nothing. Shotz has commented on the irony of the acceptance of the picket fence—it is an innocuous, everyday element in American life, but it serves a protective purpose: each picket is topped with a spike.
Shotz, who studied earth science before becoming an artist, engages the fleeting realities and subtleties of vision and perception in her work. “I’m interested in making objects that change infinitely, depending on their surroundings,” she has noted. “The light at different times of day, the weather … what the viewers are wearing, all these are just some of the variables that will make the piece different every time one comes in contact with it. For me an ideal work of art is one that is ultimately unknowable in some way.”