Elliot Waples

My art stems out of the library rather than the studio. An artist should be like a librarian collecting tools and concepts and giving people a chance to reflect with them. I did not go to art school. Instead, I created my own path in liberal studies at the New School. I turned my classes on art theory, philosophy, sociology, modernity, nationalism, and humanism into the basis for my creativity. Performance art becomes the field study of these theories in action.

The question I am left with over

View more


More Info

About My Work:

We are afraid of discomfort.

Our world is in turmoil, but we want answers to our problems without risk. Instead of meeting the uncomfortable with intentionality and consideration, we choose escape. Easy. Safe. Comfortable.

But the lie we tell ourselves is that there was ever a time in history where life was any less in turmoil. Discomfort is not dangerous. It is necessary. Because this is how we do anything about how we all get along together. 

Performance art is not a solution, it is an invitation. Though my work focuses on social questions, I do not guide an audience toward any one answer. Instead, I urge them toward vulnerability. 

My practice dissects different mediums and scavenges their parts to leave onlookers muddled. Caught between complex ideas and emotions, with no answers in sight, what’s left? The discomfort of vulnerability. And here, the possibility of critical emotional observation emerges. No escapist solutions offered, only the inspiration for honest discussions.

We cannot hide and wait for solutions to appear and save us. We must seek and build solutions and save ourselves.

We must embrace discomfort.