This item is under embargo and not available online per the author's request. For access information, please visit http://libanswers.wustl.edu/faq/5640.

Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2015

Author's School

Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts

Author Department/Program

Graduate School of Art

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Visual Art

Degree Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Abstract

Deconstructing mass media images reveals false and fabricated bodies, desires and ideals. Although performing and experimenting with one’s image can be healthy behavior, my work asks viewers to contemplate our temporal bodies existing within a constructed space of beauty images.

Since the dawn of photography in advertising, the use of the body to sell commodities has evolved from a prop for products into a packaged ideal itself, influencing gender roles and performance, fashion, and socially constructed body images. Advertising photography helps reinforce archetypal stereotypes, and consumers accept these mythologies as social truths.

The myth of the ideal body persists today – media and fashion images (distributed not only by the old avenues of print and tv, but also now through social media) point out our natural bodily failures and convince us that aging bodies are bad. However, they will claim, through these purchases, image applications, and performance, we can suspend our youth and beauty and present ourselves as current and acceptable. If we could consume these images with a more informed and critical perspective, we can lessen their influence. Otherwise, we risk the danger of placing all importance on our outer self rather than our inner self, becoming an image of other regurgitated images.

My artwork focuses on the body’s realities and failures existing within the space of fabricated images. My methods include cut paper collage, the collaged sculptural object and photomontage. Through my practice, I create new kinds of portraits – unresolved, imperfect bodies (or sometimes no body at all) that were created from mythological magazine ideals. They appear as shells of our perfected outer self, hovering in space like identity daydreams. The images could be seen as memory vignettes that were played out on our own personal stage; or, even a moment existing beyond us, only for our surfaces. The images become their own being, detached from time, troubled with mortality.

Language

English (en)

Program Director

Patricia Olynyk

Program Director's Department

Graduate School of Art

Committee Member

Cheryl Wassenaar

Committee Member

Cheryl Wassenaar

Committee Member

Heather Bennett

Committee Member

Tom Reed

Artist's Statement

Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.7936/K70R9MK9

Available for download on Wednesday, May 15, 2115

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