Date of Award
Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts
Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
Tactics of fragmentation and excerpting are used in the works Dad Animals Entering Helmut Newtons, My Fond Things and Unguided Tour to explore territory spanning intimacy, sex, memory, identity and representation of identity. The works follow a logic of collage/montage/sampling, consisting of preexisting objects, sculpture, found text, original text, digital collage, video, photography, etc. Taking cues from the visual sensibility and detached, irreverent attitude of what this thesis terms “Queer Thoughts/White Flag artists,” the works’ slick formal qualities become a Trojan horse within which is delivered a poetic and emotionally submerged experience, where a still image or object becomes time-based in the act of reading text within the image. The body of work Unguided Tour expounds upon this movement of detachment-to-meaning through the lens of Susan Sontag’s 1977 short story of the same title. Drawing from Sontag’s essay “Against Interpretation,” the works evade overt conceptual or political interpretation (or colonization and control, in Sontag’s terms). Rather the work’s intent is to craft a malleable experience surrounding a question of sex, love, family or other. The work preserves indeterminacy, not because it means nothing but because the expansive interaction of its meanings and levels of exploration should not be crystallized.
Jennifer Colten Schmidt
Ouyang, Catalina, "Unguided Tour" (2015). Undergraduate Theses—Unrestricted. 35.