Date of Award
Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
During the last two years, I have been examining the importance of vulnerability, memory and empowerment within my work as it relates to archival silence. The archive is presumed to be an objective record but what is chosen and discarded is an inherently political act. When there is archival silence, what then becomes missing from our collective histories? My exploration has spread across many forms of media, including sound, video, textiles, sculpture and writing . I have sought to understand the ways that these different mediums embody sentiment and concept, while establishing an open-ended record within which others can explore their own personal context.
Archival silence is often perpetuated by discrimination and untold traumatic narratives. What then happens when we create records of these excluded or unspoken narratives, when we express vulnerability? Might we reach a point of collective empowerment?
Through this work, I have found that negotiating between different mediums has allowed me to create a context for myself and explore deeply personal subjects, while simultaneously creating work and records that will resonate with those who pay close enough attention. I have done this by using video and sound recordings of places that are the architectures of my memory, building an installation that replicates a location very formative to me and my memory, and – perhaps most importantly – writing that presents my memory fragments as they are retrieved. These architectures are intentionally abstracted through a spectrum of mediums, creating a container into which the audience is enabled to project their own memories and identities. My personal record reaches towards justice by presenting vulnerable stories with which others may be able to identify. If this work does anything, I hope that it prompts my viewers to reflect on their own experiences, and to orient themselves to a future in which they don’t feel as though sharing a difficult experience is impossible. Through that process, I believe that we can move our record keeping towards justice.
Cosentini, Jeanette, "What the water says as it runs" (2022). Masters Theses. 844.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.