Refined Impulses

April 19 – April 30, 2021

The Department of Art, Art History, and Design at Michigan State University is pleased to announce “Refined Impulses” a virtual solo exhibition by Bachelor of Fine Arts degree candidate Lauren Batdorff.

Batdorff’s work focuses on an exploration of queer identity and how humans experience these critical aspects of being. What they create is deeply connected with the hurtful things that I’ve been told in terms of their queer identity. They have answered the questions of why can’t they just wear a pretty blouse and pants with a mask created with ripped up women’s clothing. They try to show others why certain feminine clothing makes them uncomfortable by creating high heels that are unsightly and extremely hard to walk in. 

By utilizing animal forms and translating them into puppets, wearable arts, and 3-D objects, Batdorff masks, reveals, and accentuates these facets of identity that they are trying to work through. Batdorff replicates forms of animals who have matriarchal societies or exhibit transgender qualities. They utilize fake furs, women’s clothing, and sewing or crafting techniques that are generally seen as negative due to sexist ideas. By turning animalistic forms into artistic objects that can be touched, manipulated, and controlled, they show how they feel about being transgender and queer in a world where that is not always accepted.

Being so interested in animals and their behaviors has also led them to use their art to deal with and expose the problems with the climate. They seek to create large scale and impactful pieces focusing on things like endangered animal species. Batdorff makes art about this subject aggressive and revealing, leaving no room for the viewer to not feel shocked and lead them to have to face the problem.

With their body and their beliefs so crucially intertwined in their art making, it is something deeply personal and revealing for Batdorff. They want to show the viewer why these issues are so important to address and talk about,  and make them feel this so urgently they feel they must act on them at once. Batdorff is not trying to be quiet and marketable, they are trying to be disruptive. 

Lauren Batdorff’s virtual exhibition “Refined Impulses” will be available of April 19 –  April 30, 2021.

The BFA solo exhibition is a major component of the BFA in Studio Art degree program. BFA candidates in the final year of study present their creative research to the public in a solo exhibition held by the MSU Department of Art, Art History, and Design.