Kristin McIver image

Kristin McIver is a visual artist whose work is a study of aspiration, desire and consumerism. Through her works, the artist explores various facets of “The Dream” life to which the middle class aspire, and highlights the way that fundamental human needs are transformed into desirable commodities by global profiteers.

McIver’s works, which include paintings, installations and light sculptures, propose that the media and digital age have created a desiring machine, resulting in a global culture obsessed with material consumption. Corporate profiteers are expanding their markets into remote corners of the globe, exploiting countries desperately trying to buy into the capitalist dream.

In an attempt to satiate our burgeoning desires, “utopian” environments are being constructed before our eyes. Global cities such as Dubai evolve before our eyes as spectacular, extraordinary landscapes that propose a better future – seducing the western world into a capitalist fantasy. As Boris Groys stated, “Globalisation has replaced the future as the site of utopia”[i].

McIver references the recent financial boom, which has seen a resurgence of luxury goods, and spectacular lifestyle choices. This culture of aspiration has resulted in an environment where more is never enough. Banality is a sin, and dreams can be purchased.

Through her formal construction, acrylic plastic materials and candy coloured paintings, McIver’s works mimic futuristic developments, and their glossy promotional material. Text-based works invert borrowed phrases from domestic marketing, emblazoning them in neon to seduce the viewer, and then exposing them to the irony and falsity of their message.

McIver proposes that obsession, desire, aspiration – and their perpetuity through exploitation – may eventually be the elements which turn capitalism on itself. Her works beg the question – are these utopian lifestyles born out of a collective human desire, or are these desires instilled in us to serve the financial needs of big business? Who owns “The Dream”?

[i] Boris Groys, Art Power, Cambridge, MIT Press, c2008.