Full Interview here.
RM: With the recent political upheaval, there is obviously a great deal of concern for those already facing societal disregard (people of color, women, the LGBTQ community, etc.). This seems incredibly relevant to your practice and falls under what you’ve referred to as real American horror. How do these more current and experiential events affect how you approach the topics in your work?
MM: To be honest, this current shit show has me reeling. I’m seeing all of my past research now as a present reality and a threat. You approached me right around the election, and since then I’ve been trying to answer your questions at the same time as I’m trying to figure out how to deal with this new reality as a human being, a teacher, and an artist. What I’ve come to is that I need to keep active and proactive. I cannot look to the future without remembering the hope of the past. To many, my work seems dark, but the truth is it has always been about hope and perseverance. Knowing that we have been fighting these fights for generations and now seeing people out protesting en masse is just one sign of our progress as a country despite the continued abuse of power and the resurgence of overt patriarchy.
My current studio research involves thinking about horror films and focusing on films of my childhood with othered protagonists, like Carrie (1976) and Firestarter (1984), and I’m also thinking about the relationship of comedy to tragedy.