Date of Award

5-2016

Document Type

Thesis

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Program

Fine Arts

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts

Thesis Advisor

Shaun Cassidy

Committee Member

Paula Smith

Committee Member

Tom Stanley

Committee Member

Dr. Karen Stock

Abstract

The thesis exhibition Stories of Otherness is an interactive installation created using dance, music, photography, video, ceramic figurative sculptures, and armatures of found objects to create a voyeuristic and physically participatory experience of situational art. Many artists from various art and literary genres influence my research and art, including Petah Coyne, Mona Hatoum, Pina Bausch, Mia Michaels, and Jeanette Winterson. The multi-faceted combination of art mediums and artists inspires me to create a mixed media, multi-dimensional installation for an immersive participant’s experience as a source for awareness, empathy, reflection, and ultimately as a “call to action” evoking change.

This thesis statement comments on the work by examining the connections surrounding the participant’s experience in an art installation; the specific choices and juxtapositions of art material; the participant’s spatial relationships; and the conceptual framework intended to manipulate the participant. The physicality of the experience further explores the idea of sexual orientation through the use of spatial orientations of a body in a confining, discriminatory environment. The theme is exclusion - more specifically, the ostracized outsider who must conform to the insider’s norm. The intent is to frame a space and an experience that will allow for a reversal of roles and, ultimately, a reflection on the complexity of these roles.

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