Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Visual Art
This thesis narrates the development of the multimedia art installation called Sanctuary. I unwrap the theoretical background of my practice, which is rooted in the theories of deconstruction by Jacques Derrida, and the rhizome theory by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari. I approach my creative process as a grammatic of matter, space, and time, constructing meaning through an interplay of significants that connect to political, social, economic, and cultural implications. In the case of Sanctuary, I sought to create a path of empathy towards Venezuelan refugees in St. Louis, Missouri through the exploration of the concept of communion. This idea is expressed in the work through giving prominence to participation, community engagement, the idea of Baroque as historic process, and the Venezuelan dish known as arepa as a sign of identity. Sanctuary is a 3-channel video installation consisting in room painted in deep blue, where three wall sculptures are hung on three contiguous walls. Each piece contains a video monitor mounted vertically and framed by an assemblage that resembles Baroque architectural elements used in catholic churches from my home city, Caracas, Venezuela. Each of the 3 video channels shows a Venezuelan immigrant in Missouri making of arepas. The room is dimly lit, based on the ambience of Catholic churches. The three assemblages framing the monitors are made from wood covered with an emergency blanket—which is a mylar sheet currently associated to refugees—cutouts of the plastic wrapping of Venezuelan maize flour, gold leaf, and the wooden silhouettes of Baroque ornaments, which are also painted with white acrylic and marker.
Thesis Text Advisor
Salazar-Lermont, Carlos, "Sanctuary: The-Construction of Communion" (2022). MFA in Visual Art. 5.
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