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Washington University in St. Louis

Theses/Dissertations

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It's The Funerals I Missed Which Haunt Me The Most, Arno Goetz May 2020

It's The Funerals I Missed Which Haunt Me The Most, Arno Goetz

Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Papers

What makes a photograph great? This is the central question which guides my research, and I answer this question in two parts. The first element is the structure of the photograph, which Robert Adams addresses in his collection of essays, Beauty in Photography: Essays in Defense of Traditional Values. With the guiding principle that structure can provide harmony in an image, I develop a collection of guidelines for composing images and name them the “Rules of Clarity.” The purpose of these rules is to help photographers create harmonious compositions, free from distractions. When a photograph has few distractions, it becomes ...


Unraveling Memory Through Childhood Relics, Franchesca Rousseas May 2020

Unraveling Memory Through Childhood Relics, Franchesca Rousseas

Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Papers

The formation of memory is a universal experience that occurs at an individual level. Memory is intangible and abstract, but it can be tied to physical objects such as photographs. These objects may remain the same throughout the course of our lives, but our memories are subject to change. Information is inevitably lost or altered over time, as our minds are more pliable than they are rigid. These alterations result in the desire to reconstruct and reinterpret past events given the information that is still accessible. Focusing on objects of domesticity that trigger childhood memories, I reveal how the act ...


Twisted Truths In Memories, Jiyoon Kang May 2020

Twisted Truths In Memories, Jiyoon Kang

Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Papers

Memory— fragments of minds that are stored to remember the past and information— plays a huge role in human development. Humans interact with each other based on past experiences. These memories are part of our personalities. Flashbulb memory, a highly detailed snapshot of a moment, can even be life changing, because that memory becomes an essential part of “you.” In Twisted Truths in Memories, my body of work aspires to explore the question: what happens to memory when strong emotions are involved? How does that relate to a photograph, especially when photographs are intended to demonstrate the truth? The body ...


Encumbered By Stage Fright Or I’M Not Sure Why I Did That, Chris Scott May 2020

Encumbered By Stage Fright Or I’M Not Sure Why I Did That, Chris Scott

Graduate School of Art Theses

I hope to be as honest as possible. I’m hoping to be the star of the show. This is a series of onanistic musings, a rambling narrative that oscillates between truth and fabrication. There are instances of earnestness paired with ostentatious exaggeration. The frequent leaps from subject to subject, often seemingly unrelated to one another, reflect the ineluctably scatterbrained headspace that dictates how I operate in the studio, in every facet of life. Through this lens of storytelling I delve into a few artists, like Bruce Nauman, and rock and roll musicians, like Lou Reed, who I have been ...


Crystal Queer: Fracturing The Binaries Of Matter, Creation, And Landscape, Sarah Knight May 2020

Crystal Queer: Fracturing The Binaries Of Matter, Creation, And Landscape, Sarah Knight

Graduate School of Art Theses

In this thesis, I compile a series of fragments consisting an analysis of my artwork in the gendered contexts of landscape, self-identity, mythology, and philosophy. I develop my concept of a “queer mark” in my art that serves as a form of queering, a disruption of visual and conceptual cohesion. I form a picture of how our contemporary selves are influenced by our gendered understanding of the landscape through the analysis of philosophical, artistic, and mythological concepts of creation. I see my sculptures as an atlas to an alternative means of understanding identity, a queering of these historical and exclusionary ...


The Darkness Needs To Cry, Damaris Dunham May 2020

The Darkness Needs To Cry, Damaris Dunham

Graduate School of Art Theses

I construct large-scale, layered, three-dimensional paintings that symbolically allude to both body and landscape. I attempt to use my hands and embodied self to form a space of contemplation for the viewer as she walks alongside the work, experiencing it. The work exists in the realm of the sensed and the sensorial and creates both spaces of excess and of lack that correlate with my thinking of philosophical notions of the grotesque and the void. In a way, I blend elements of psychoanalysis and art making together. I discuss the origins of the term, uncanny, as one of the few ...


To Participate In The Image: Reification & Reproduction, Justine Xi May 2020

To Participate In The Image: Reification & Reproduction, Justine Xi

Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Papers

Spanning sculpture, video, and installation, I develop my work through techniques of collage and (re)appropriation to investigate and criticize Western hegemonic perceptions and representations of the (Asian) Other. I investigate perceptions of Asianness in the Western imagination from Orientalism to Techno-Orientalism, demonization and fetishization, focusing on the circulation of imagery in art, media, and popular culture. Further, I draw attention to the internalization of these standards and what it means to participate in the construction and distribution of the image, its implications and perceptions.


Pleasure Is All Mine, Lola Ogbara May 2020

Pleasure Is All Mine, Lola Ogbara

Graduate School of Art Theses

One’s identity is shaped by many factors such as race, culture, physical appearance, nationality, and religion—amongst many more. As an artist, the subjugation of identity in the context of race, gender, and sexuality is a world I examine closely. Subverting myths of sexual deviancy and racial inferiority that perpetually pathologizes Black feminine sexuality, I often use and reference my own body to create avenues of power through physical and intellectual pleasure. Through material use of clay, metal, photography, and installation, I emphasize on how contemporary Black social cultures are able to write their own narratives in order to ...


The Always And Never Seen, Linnea Ryshke May 2020

The Always And Never Seen, Linnea Ryshke

Graduate School of Art Theses

In my art practice, I strive to recover the value of non-human animals as fellow beings with whom we are in relation. In the last decade, “the animal question” has gained momentum across disciplines, and I situate myself as part of the effort to challenge the denigration of nonhuman animals that has led to the widespread exploitation of their labor and bodies. In my practice, I create paintings, drawings and mixed-media collages that recover the genesis of the word “animal” as meaning one with breath, one with soul. Through expressionist mark and material tactility, I create intimate and large-scale works ...


In Search Of Place, Aleida Hertel May 2020

In Search Of Place, Aleida Hertel

Graduate School of Art Theses

The work I make as an artist is visceral in its form and poetic in its expression. I work with minimal materials through installation, sculpture, video, sound and public projects. My work responds to personal memories of displacement and diaspora, as well as socio-political events.

Ultimately, my art centers its attention towards the Other and the understanding that resides in the ethical, philosophical and political conditions of Otherness, hoping for empathy and transformation.


Tracing The Past, Drawing The Present, Sixue Yang May 2020

Tracing The Past, Drawing The Present, Sixue Yang

Graduate School of Art Theses

The group of work, Rising Water, Floating Islands is inspired by traditional Chinese scroll landscape paintings. Such landscape paintings combine meticulous technique, compositional complexity, and tension between representation and abstraction to reveal an alternative universe that waits discovery amid our mundane existence. In “Rising Water, Floating Islands,” I explore the political and social ramifications of the ongoing cultural conflict between traditional and emergent contemporary values. By combining traditional Chinese elements and techniques with my own markings and gestural adaptation in my painting, I give the audience the opportunity to contemplate the implications of our present digital condition through traditional esthetic ...


The Work Of Art In The Age Of Surveillance: Towards A Society Of Civil Power, Grace Eunhae Cho May 2020

The Work Of Art In The Age Of Surveillance: Towards A Society Of Civil Power, Grace Eunhae Cho

Graduate School of Art Theses

State and corporate power have expanded and enforced their dominant territory and influence through the development of visual technology. Art and visual technology are inseparable. Thus, art has been utilized as an essential tool through which power glamorizes and visualizes its authority. Over the course of the modern age, power has increasingly adopted different strategies in order to conceal its appearance. In particular, the development of information and communication technology has enabled power to be not only invisible but also intangible. This thesis, "The Work of Art in The Age of Surveillance: Towards A Society of Civil Power," explores how ...


Presence Through Process: Cultivating Embodied Understanding, Zoë Morris May 2020

Presence Through Process: Cultivating Embodied Understanding, Zoë Morris

Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Papers

In Presence Through Process: Cultivating Embodied Understanding, I set out to re-conceptualize how art can function, situating it within a framework of the idea of importance. I suggest an understanding of importance as a figment of conscious experience, locating various personal notions of importance within a working model. Within the model, I accredit the “cosmic self” to be responsible for the impulses behind my art practice. I identify the art process as a means towards presence, going further to explore what kind of embodied understanding can be garnered through it. Invoking my work in performance and etching, I demonstrate how ...


Hysteria, Fear, And/Or Delight, Alessandra Ferrari-Wong May 2020

Hysteria, Fear, And/Or Delight, Alessandra Ferrari-Wong

Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Papers

My Bachelor of Fine Arts thesis statement, Hysteria, Fear, and/or Delight, establishes the forms and concepts of my art practice as it stands as of May, 2020: performance-based and interdisciplinary. My practice implies narrative while acknowledging the audience. Physical language, in both dance and gesture, can be a means of communication or subversion. Pieces exist as ephemeral, often private, performances and then separately in archival forms ranging from video, to photography, to installation. The body of the statement details my thesis project, a remaking of Giselle, a 19th century Romantic-era ballet, into a performance series and video trilogy. The ...


Patterning A Home, Zoë Finkelstein May 2020

Patterning A Home, Zoë Finkelstein

Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Papers

The question driving my constant impulse to create is this: how do the places in which we spend our time transform the four walls around us into this larger entity we call “home?” I begin to answer this question with an investigation into the use of repetition, time spent, and memory in my own body of work. In order for a space to become a home, one must build up a collection of experiences in that space over time. To show this, I explore the relationship in my work between repetitive mark making, pattern, intense labor, memory, comfort, and my ...


Blurring The Boundary: Reinvigorating Joy In The Mundane Through Juxtaposition, Taylor M. Fulton May 2020

Blurring The Boundary: Reinvigorating Joy In The Mundane Through Juxtaposition, Taylor M. Fulton

Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Papers

There is an inherent tension between interior and exterior as experienced by the human body. We live an overwhelming majority of our lives indoors, yet we are consistently compelled towards the natural world. This compulsion is necessitated by biophilia, driving a desire to be around lifelike processes.

The boundary between interior and exterior mandates that we live our lives on one side or the other at a time, never simultaneously existing both indoors and outdoors. A disparity between the spaces is therefore maintained by the boundary. This perpetual separation sets up for the perfect use of juxtaposition, which is utilized ...


Modeling Disability: Softly Making The Invisible Visible, Libby Evan May 2020

Modeling Disability: Softly Making The Invisible Visible, Libby Evan

Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Papers

“I am not asking for pity. I am telling you about my disability.” -Eli Clare

In the following Bachelor of Fine Arts thesis statement, you will not find someone overcoming their disability. You will not find a tale of inspiration. You will not find a cure for ableism. You simply will find an individual's experience of disability— my experience of disability.

My invisible disability puts the medical model and social model of disability in constant tension as I navigate everyday life living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and severe arthritis. Both models seek to find blame for disability, whether in ...


Virtual Yearning, Isa Sabraw May 2020

Virtual Yearning, Isa Sabraw

Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Papers

Do you feel who you are? The answer to the question is pursued but not captured.

The pursuit consists of a rowdy but skilled team of investigatory video works. The videos possess research, evidence, beauty, wit, and a healthy dose of humor.

The research is made up of books, films, and archives. The evidence is pilfered from the internet. The beauty is much the same. The wit is something you are born with. The humor is hiding something: sincerity.


The Complexities Of Intimacy, Brie Henderson May 2020

The Complexities Of Intimacy, Brie Henderson

Graduate School of Art Theses

Through my research I have discovered there are many complexities that exist within the topic of intimacy. Of these complexities, I chose to explore the topics attachment and codependency in my final series. Attachment and codependency are deeply rooted in psychology, poetry, and many artist’s practices. The relationship between poetry and my work has become deeply intertwined. I combine poetry with my work as a way to document my feelings and to inspire the titles for my paintings. Through a series of intimate watercolor paintings, I reference bodies, intimate interactions and the ambiguity within the two. This ambiguity asks ...


Homeland Insecurity, Amy Chen Dec 2019

Homeland Insecurity, Amy Chen

Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Papers

Homeland Insecurity is a project born out of a life’s worth of marginalization, internalized racism, and forced assimilation. It presents common experiences and emotions that are located between cultures, questioning what it means to inhabit a homeland that exists as a hybrid mental space. As I progress through life, my parents’ culture—my heritage—becomes more and more distant, yet like many non-white children of immigrants, I will continue to carry it in my face as a physical reminder of a life I do not know. Influenced by acculturation theory, my work explores this culture that never quite belonged ...


Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things, Sarah Adcock Aug 2019

Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things, Sarah Adcock

Graduate School of Art Theses

I view my creative process as alchemy, the transformation of materials through experimentation. I use wax as a material that transcends its historical use as a sculptural process for casting and instead, use it for its transmutable qualities to inform content. Because of its plasticity and duality as fragile and resilient, wax is symbolically submissive and assertive. By applying heat, wax can be molded and formed into new shapes. Once it cools, wax reverts back to its natural state; solid and impermeable. I use objects to explore desires of origin and life. Transitional objects, the first “me not me” possession ...


A Vestige Of The Ultimate Force Of Time And Space, Jiyoung Megan Lee May 2019

A Vestige Of The Ultimate Force Of Time And Space, Jiyoung Megan Lee

Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Papers

This art statement is rooted in an idea that the existential quality is independent of absence and presence (synonymous to appearing and disappearing, and real and recognition) and distilled physicality of human body creates a parallel relationship between the two. In search of a proof and logic for articulating the central idea, –that the absence does not define evanescence of existence— the application of physical interactivity in my art, also known as relational aesthetic, enables the work to invite viewers in a way that the interactors leave their traces by physically interacting with the work. These individual traces are eventually ...


Material Memory, Merry Sun May 2019

Material Memory, Merry Sun

Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Papers

Memory may be implicitly embedded into an artwork through explicit material triggers. Materials can evoke memory through material past life and through physical denotations of the past. The former carries with it the weight of existence; the latter demonstrates tangibly what cannot be captured by words. The material triggers act as semantic memories that can be used to construct an experiential, episodic memory in the mental faculties of the viewer. The memory that is contained within the work must be implicit in nature to carry experience, for explicit memory can only be read semantically. As the viewer strives to reach ...


Breaking The Fourth Wall: Avenues For Empathy Through Participation And Interaction, Grace Zajdel May 2019

Breaking The Fourth Wall: Avenues For Empathy Through Participation And Interaction, Grace Zajdel

Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Papers

Abstract:

Theater is used as a lens through which I view the act of role play in participatory and interaction based artworks. I examine the elements of Action – in participatory or performance works—and Set—in immersive installation works – for their effectiveness in creating avenues for empathetic relations in my own work and that of contemporary artists. I distinguish between the overblown spectacle of Peter Brook’s Deadly Theater and connect the mission of the Holy Theater to that of my own art practice. Performance, immersive installation, participation and interaction thereby serve to allow the artwork’s participants to engage ...


Black Stereotype, Rashonda Daniels, Blaize'b Daniels May 2019

Black Stereotype, Rashonda Daniels, Blaize'b Daniels

Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Papers

In my work, I create my own narrative regarding the stereotyping of Black people. The body of work that is discussed focuses in on the history of the Black stereotypes that dates as far back as the slavery era. Through my art practice, I address how the contemporary mistreatment of Black people stems from the historical foundation of negative Black stereotypes that were imposed upon us by Europeans. My hope is that by confrontingour history we can eliminate so called “Black behavior” or bad behavior and accept it as simply normal human behavior.


Reorienting Patrilineal Epistemology, Jack Radley May 2019

Reorienting Patrilineal Epistemology, Jack Radley

Bachelor of Fine Arts Senior Papers

My work explores how father figures – biological and cultural – transmit knowledge. I draw on personal anecdotes, popular fictions, and political realities to challenge the way masculinity is concocted. Traditionally, masculinity has been taught through what I term “patrilineal epistemology,” whereby the grandfather has taught the father, who teaches the son, who will teach his son, ad finitum. Santa Daddy, Untitled (My Father Never Taught Me How to Shave), and His Son’s Countenance Would not Bear the Same Fate as the Bare Face of His Watch focus on the lesson of shaving to reify alternatives and explore shared physiognomies between ...


Dialogical Practice, Meenakshi Jha May 2019

Dialogical Practice, Meenakshi Jha

Graduate School of Art Theses

Within an interdisciplinary and dialogical practice where process is as significant as final form/s, I delve in matters not to resolve but to explore them. Digging deep in my studio practice over my philosophical yearnings to talking loud and clear about my life in performances, I venture out in the geographical expanse to connect with self and others. In fact, the more I practice my craft, I feel a lesser and lesser gap between my ‘self’ and others. The walk outwards brings me closer to my internal realizations as a human being. In short, my practice is based on ...


The Psychos, Paula N. Stevenson May 2019

The Psychos, Paula N. Stevenson

Graduate School of Art Theses

My current body of work is a series of drawings that juxtapose characters of fiction and reality in an attempt to explore the relationship between horror film and contemporary social issues. I strive to render an accurate portrayal of the face to draw the viewer into questioning the troubling narrative these characters illuminate. I focus on retelling stories of fear and horror, and crime and infamy. I want my work to convey ethical dilemmas as they are present within the relationship between horror movie antagonists and the audience (all of us). It is these concerns I attempt to visualize in ...


Grids Within Grids, Lingrong Wang May 2019

Grids Within Grids, Lingrong Wang

Graduate School of Art Theses

Combined with my art practice, this thesis acts as a lens for the universe within the little grids I create. Instead of using brushes and pigments, I’m searching for a different way to represent strokes to form abstract images. I’m interested in using a folding method to make one page of printed paper into multiple layers. It is fascinating to transform single sheets of paper from magazines. The magazines that I have collected show people’s personal interests. These everyday items give hints and first impressions of meaning to the viewer, but I fold the magazines to make ...


Her Anticipation, Cora Rozencohn May 2019

Her Anticipation, Cora Rozencohn

Graduate School of Art Theses

My thesis paper will explore my artistic practice by analyzing my thesis video project,Her Anticipation. I will accomplish this by examining three main topics: The essential elements of the video, the video’s relationship to my earlier work, and a discussion of the video and its structure with representative examples.

The first essential element of the video springs from my relationship with my husband, especially the aspect of the relationship that is tied up with our nearly forty-year age difference. The second element is my personal experience filtered through a deep reading of Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene ...