Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Images are non-verbal holders of narrative and meaning in Western culture. Historically, painting served this function—a job that we now generally give to digital photography and cinema. One task for contemporary painting, then, might simply be as a self-reflective metaphor for the experience of vision that is mostly lost in photographic technologies: seeing as looking plus touching. Paintings are simultaneously objects and images—corporeal material constructions and visceral illusionary fields. Given the current state of rapid image production, consumption, and instrumentalization, painting’s insistence on singularity and a more ‘composed gaze’—one that asks the viewer to re-read—stands out as significant and potentially liberating.
Boredom is ubiquitous, inconspicuous, and quiet—yet it is the most basic and relentless human state. Like other emotions, it serves a specific, positive biological function: alongside curiosity, it propels us to do something. The discomfort of boredom is meant to provoke us to engage with the world. In this way, boredom is an essential condition of our humanity.Boredom, however, can also be instrumentalized. Might the restoration of embodiment to looking and the sensation of time be a productive and empathetic antidote to perpetual distraction?
Pater, Sarah R., "Make every day count: longing, vision, & painting" (2015). Masters Theses. 15.