11.11.2011

Thesis Proposal

So I thought I would share with you guys the state of my current thesis proposal. Which I have to present to a panel and group of people in less than 3 weeks. Crazy scary. Here is my paper so far:

"I would like to create an archive of family members; telling family stories through visual and written composition. I am interested in keeping my family memories alive, knowing that we will not be documented in popular culture but by what we leave behind and who sees these objects and documents. I am also interested in what is present in the memory and what is forgotten, the known and the unknown and what little information one needs to remember something by. I hope to find a new avenue to concrete these memories and events in time. Composing personal habits and objects that are universally understood by an American audience to create portraits of loved ones. Through these collected portraits I hope to detach myself and find a new understanding of these people that are so close to me while giving he audience a wider scope of investigation into their own memories and families.

Writings inspire this work such as Raymond Carver’s “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”; a minimalist collection of mundane short stories that with detail can make a reader connect with the story and want more. Documenting objects with written word influenced by John Baldesarri’s piece The Pencil Story, a short story with few detail and no climax, but one we all know. Sophie Calle’s piece Exquisite Pain; this piece was my introduction to Calle’s work and I fell in love with the way she is able to illustrate her story with her banal photography.  I want to give importance to everyday objects that belonged to someone in the same way that Jonathan Safran Foer did in “Everything is Illuminated.”

Order and display will take a large role in my collections. I tend to naturally gather objects that have connections, either personal or through shared attributes. These collections vary in abundance and have different meanings of importance. I arrange these objects, composing a display. I was taught this order of collecting by my parents and my grandparents who are also collectors of things. It is through their collections that I find myself understanding them deeper.

In understanding my parents relationship with their parents I feel as though i will understand my relationships with my parents to a further extent. I find it important to capture their memories, my memories, our shared memories and solidify the stories. I was not close to my father’s parents and my mothers parents were only existed in my life after their death.

I find myself keeping objects to remember these people, events, occasions. I think the majority of people in America do this. We save birthday cards, souvenirs from places we visit and we reconstruct the memory of these objects represent through the object. I wonder if we create memories through these objects as well.

I will keep a journal of memories; writing down moments in time, events, happenstance.  From these memories I gather detailed visual interest from the people and places composing a visual portrait. The objects I collect will be based on the relationship I have with the object and how I see the object helping to create a portrait. I will continue to read memoirs of American writers and watch documentaries of American culture. My studio will become a place for making imagery, collecting, reordering, but I think my writing will be sporadic, sparked by memory.

For my thesis I will create a series of written and archived work, image/object, to create portraits of people that will hold my family in time. I will look into how far I can push the known and the unknown. These short stories and visual works will be gathered from personal experience but I hope the readers will be able to relate them to their own experiences. In the same way, I hope the audience can piece together a personality of a person through these portraits and piece together someone they know."