KIKI SMITH: Rather than having a purpose for a piece from the beginning, or an agenda, I look at my art as an experiment and wait to see how a piece will reveal itself afterwards, so it's less a pragmatic exercise in propaganda. I'm a person who has all these convoluted complications, attachments to different things. And I wait to see what happens to the work, to see something unfolding itself, to see what happens.
ANN HAMILTON: I know that my work is made through my experience, and my work comes up and orients itself because of my experience in my body. I don't want to sound like an essentialist, or define myself in that way either, but that certainly, because I work on the relationship between interiors and exteriors, it's very much a valid issue in the intersection between the material and language, some of that nature of primary form that relates to this experience. I certainly feel that my awareness of my body when I was pregnant affected that and that I think that I had this other that was not me for a period of time.
ANN HAMILTON: In "Malediction," I was sitting at a table and there were prepared books in front of me and the table and the chairs were swinging and a little liquid in their movements and as I was sitting there the text of the books had been sliced, they were cut between each line of printing so that you could start at the upper left-hand corner of the page where you would begin reading. You would lift that corner out and the whole page would come out and unwind like a continuous thread. What I did was sit there and wind these books from the pages, and being flat planes, into being round balls which was very much like making a body out of text and running the language through my fingers, so it sort of retactilized the word. In front of where I was sitting, on this table there was a little screen sort of transparent, with a hole, a slit, like an opening of a curtain in the center, so that when I finished making the ball, when it became the size of a large grapefruit, I pushed it through that opening so that it landed on the table.
EURUDICE: Personally, it's been my (primary literary) project to reclaim and unleash the (primary female) body; to shed it from the stereotypical metaphors that the discourse has cloaked it with and also the shame that the West has been piling up on it for two millennia. The body is usually outside the realm of language and it's been traditionally women's realm; it's a good way for women to make language their own - here I see language as power. I don't fear I'll be burned at the stake for my taboo words, even though I may be; I don't feel rebellious but normal, and I think that's what postfeminism is about. (Old divinities are making a comeback, gods of carnal lust and mystical silence, but it took centuries for the Inquisition to numb the West and it's taking long to reawaken us.)
KIKI SMITH: I think that my work is an expression of myself, that it has many different facets to it, that my life is very complex, that I personalize that life but also that physically there is a physical component to it, so that the fact that I am a female is going to influence it. I think that I use different materials perhaps: paper fabric, textiles, a very handicraft way of thinking.
ANN HAMILTON: In "Lineament," I had a Russian basket coffin next to me. I rolled up pieces of cotton and filled my mouth with them, filling the hollow of my mouth, then taking them out and putting them in this basket, like trying to fill that hollow space in my interior and to make it material, connecting language to the body and reconstituting my body.
KIKI SMITH: My primary objective as an artist is self-revelation and development - my spiritual life which manifests itself physically in the world, in my physical interaction with other people.