Date of Award

Spring 5-2017

Author's School

Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts

Author's Program

Art

Degree Name

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)

Restricted/Unrestricted

Restricted

Abstract

The body of work included in Length, Width, Height reflects society’s constriction of bodies of color, specifically those marked as Other. In this text, I discuss these works in the contexts of rigid social structures, the socialization of Western children, and the persistence of Orientalism. These works take the form of interactive installations, video performances, and takeaway objects. Using recognizable structures and objects that, through visual cues, lure audience participation, I allude to the human disposition for securing space at the expense of bodies of color. In this body of work, I interrogate the adverse effects of casual microaggressions, profiling, patronizing behavior, and frequent assertions of power on these bodies. I discuss “disidentification” as a method for infiltrating from the inside in order to have relevance with a Western audience. In Length, Width, Height, I examine my work in relation to art theory by Claire Bishop, José Esteban Muñoz, and Katarzyna Zimna as well as cultural criticism by Edward W. Said. I also draw comparisons between my work and works by Vito Acconci, Janine Antoni, Tehching Hsieh, Rashid Johnson, Emma Sulkowitz, and Félix González-Torres. I arrive at the impossibility of a utopic alternative to our current social structures and instead focus on the need to infiltrate as a means of disrupting the longevity of Western dominance.

Mentor/Primary Advisor

Lisa Bulawsky

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