Dana Hargrove

In my work I question the ties that surround our daily lives whether cultural, political, religious or social. I look at how our ideals and values are shaped by the fabric of our society and our identity within a nation

Living vicariously through the media we partake in life through a third party experience. Life itself can become overproduced as we disengage and allow the boundaries between the representation and reality to become blurred.

The apparently innocent space that is in actual fact strategically systemized within our urban existence is an interesting contradiction that I enjoy exploring. I lift and adapt visuals to document the way we often disconnect and fail to see this contradiction. Removing the innocence by reframing within an art context is a tactic whereby I can relocate the image from something we have learned to accept to something that demands to be questioned in a more critical way.

Through my work, I inspire viewers to be more thoughtful in their approach to the everyday and become more connected with their own experience. This heightens the awareness of how that experience is digested and curtailed by a variety of strictures evident in our daily lives such as the media, systems of charting, the manmade structures that try to organize and make sense of the lives we are living.

My concern within my work is – if there is a gap between the system and the individual, with the system larger than the human, does it encourage our sophisticated removal into abstraction and our ease with the representation rather than the reality?

Plop Props’ take the form of cardboard cutouts made from reclaimed consumer packaging, creating facades of small mound-like memorials. Propped in unsavory nooks and crannies of downtown Orlando, they suggest family units within a larger community, and re-imagine our widespread experiences of displacement and economic struggle. ‘Plop Props’ also run a discourse between the gentrification and homogenization of our spaces, and the often-ignored homeless population living in downtown areas.